Smithfield Packing Workers at Tar Heel Choose Unionism

Unionised Smithfield workers at Tar Heel thank the AMIEU for support

Dear Gwynnyth Evans,

We are very pleased and excited to announce that after 16 years of struggle, Smithfield workers in Tar Heel, NC voted to unionize last week, marking an historic win at the world’s largest pork processing plant.

It is difficult to describe the magnitude of this election, which the Fayetteville observer is calling“a stunning victory.”  With over 4,500 workers in the bargaining unit, this was the largest union victory in the manufacturing sector in over a decade, and the single largest electoral success in the history of the UFCW. The courage of the Tar Heel workers, particularly in the least labor-friendly state in the nation, has been an inspiration to all of us.

 

We know we could never have done this without your support. For years, so many of you have stood up for Smithfield workers at rallies, church meetings, and community events. You have spread the word of their struggle in your neighborhoods, unions, organizations and over your listserves.  We will never forget your efforts. Together we have made history.

 

It was your solidarity over the past few years that led to a unique election agreement between the UFCW and Smithfield officials, one that leveled the playing field for the first time, allowing Tar Heel workers a free and fair voting process.

 

Contract negotiations will begin early next year, and we will continue to keep you up to date as this process moves forward.

 

Once again, many thanks.

 

 

Gene Bruskin

 

PS: Be sure to read the UFCW’s press statement on the vote, as well as the full New York Times coverage!

 

 

Check out Smithfield - Packaged with Abuse on meatiesohs.org to find out about health and safety at Tar Heel and why they need Unionism