UFCW meat packing and food processing members work to feed America and beyond.
Whether it’s Campbell’s soup, Welch’s jelly, Kraft mac and cheese, or Quaker Oats—it’s the hard work of UFCW members behind the scenes that helps put some of our nation’s favorite foods on the kitchen table.
UFCW members are highly trained professionals who serve as an extra layer of protection for consumers when it comes to food safety.
Half of UFCW’s food processing members work for the top ten food processing employers, including JBS USA, Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods, Cargill Inc., Continental Grain Co. (Wayne Farms), Hormel Foods Corp., Marfrig SA (Keystone), Foster Poultry Farms, National Beef Packing, and ConAgra Foods.
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Ensuring safe workplaces for workers in the food processing and meat packing industries.
The food processing industry is a high hazard industry due to interactions with animals and heavy machinery. Line speeds and other factors also play a role and workplace safety is a key concern.
Our members benefit from joining the UFCW because our union provides workplace safety protections, which gives workers the ability to speak out or stop the line without fear of retaliation or being fired when those protections are denied.
The UFCW works with employers to make sure workers have a seat at the table and a say regarding health and safety in the workplace.
UFCW contracts include health and safety language to protect workers, including safe working conditions, union access to perform worksite inspections and medical and exposure records, training, joint health and safety committees, chief, walking and ergonomic stewards that can accompany government inspectors during their paid time and lastly, provide protective equipment where appropriate. Our contracts also include reimbursement for protective gear.
Many members also appreciate additional opportunities for career development through job-related trainings or participation in leadership opportunities, such as becoming a steward or serving on a safety committee.
Fighting for better safety protocols at meat packing and food processing plants during the pandemic.
During these challenging times, the UFCW has fought to ensure our members work in safe environments and that their employers follow CDC and other government recommendations when it comes to COVID-19.
As one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, meat packing workers have relied on the protection their union contract provides.
We also fought to secure transparency in injury and illness reporting by employers, and partnered with other unions to strengthen whistleblower protections and OSHA protections for workers who speak out about dangers on the job.
No one should have to fight for workplace protections alone. The UFCW has worked with OSHA to conduct targeted inspections in high hazard industries, including the poultry and meatpacking industries.
The top five UFCW Locals with the highest food processing membership include:
- RWDSU Local 6 (Birmingham, Alabama)
- Local 2 (Bel Aire, Kansas)
- Local 293 (Fremont, Neb)
- Local 540 (Dallas, Texas)
- Local 1546 (Chicago, Ill)
How UFCW is supporting workers in meat packing and food processing
UFCW: Federal Court Throws Out Dangerous Trump USDA Pork Line Speed Rule in Major Victory for Essential Meatpacking Workers
March 31, 2021
UFCW: As COVID Meatpacking Risks Continue, Congress Must Pass New Bill Mandating Safer Line Speeds to Protect Essential Workers Keeping Food Supply Secure
March 11, 2021
UFCW Expands Vaccine Access for 12,000 Meatpacking Workers Across the Country in New Partnerships with State Leaders and Top Industry Employers
March 5, 2021