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Meat Processing Workers in Colorado Ratify a New Contract

January 25, 2023

On Dec. 15, over 200 members of UFCW Local 7 who work at Denver Processing in Denver, Colo., ratified a new contract that raises wages and protects benefits. Denver Processing is a pork and beef case-ready plant and owned by JBS. This ratification took place days after Denver Processing workers voted to strike against the company’s unfair labor practices.

The three-year contract includes first-year wage increases for every new employee and increases of $6 or more an hour for every employee over the course of the three-year deal. UFCW Local 7 also successfully negotiated to keep workers on their existing union health care plans and protected existing pension plans for its members, along with more stringent safety measures in the workplace.

The contract also ended two-tier discrimination on vacations, doubled the night premium, and increased weekly guarantees for weekly minimum hours from 20 to 32.

“From the beginning of this process, we promised our members that we would procure the very best contract we could,” said UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova. “ We are excited that our members voted unanimously to ratify this industry-leading contract that will ensure that JBS respects, protects and pays these essential workers who risked their health and lives during the pandemic to help feed our communities.”

“In the last contract negotiation with the company, our bargaining unit fought hard for us,” said Rosa Zuñiga, who works at Denver Processing. “We won one of the best contracts in the country for case-ready meat processors and we resolved many issues, including scheduling, which has been big for me as a working mom.”

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