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Local 1208 Members Ratify First Contract with Smithfield in Tar Heel, N.C.

July 1, 2009 Updated: September 9, 2020

Five Thousand workers at the world’s largest pork processing plant have their first-ever union contract, after an overwhelming 84-percent majority of workers ratified the agreement over a two-day vote. Members of UFCW Local 1208 will join more than 10,000 other Smithfield workers, and more than 240,000 others who work in the meat packing and food processing industry who have a UFCW union contract.

Workers at the Tar Heel plant voted for a UFCW voice on the job in December of 2008. They have been at the bargaining table since January.

The new contract includes:

  • Wage increases of $1.50/hour over the next four years.
  • Continued company-provided affordable family health care coverage.
  • Improved paid sick leave and vacation benefits.
  • Retirement security through protection of the existing pension plan.
  • Continued joint worker/management safety committee, including company funded safety training for workers.
  • Guaranteed weekly hours that protect full-time, family supporting jobs in the community
  • A system to resolve workplace issues.
  • 24 hours of paid funeral leave following the death of immediate family members.