One Rico suit against unions and their supporters has been dropped, workers finally big winners, imagine we live in a world that just being able to get a union election is a major victory
From Metro DC Labor Council:
WORKERS WIN AT SMITHFIELD!
(10/27/08 6:20P) In a huge win for organized labor, Smithfield Foods dropped a racketeering lawsuit against union organizers Monday and agreed to let them hold a union election at the world's largest hog slaughterhouse. "In return, the United Food and Commercial Workers union agreed to end a publicity campaign against Smithfield that included calls for product boycotts to support its calls for an organizing election at the slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, N.C.," reported the Associated Press Monday afternoon. Smithfield -- the nation's largest pork producer -- estimated that the Justice at Smithfield campaign – which included a major focus on DC-area customers who make up one of Smithfield's largest markets -- cost it about $900 million. "The metro-area labor movement has been deeply involved in this struggle since it was launched over two years ago," said Metro Washington Council President Jos Williams. "Every local activist and labor supporter who turned out to rally, leaflet or march for Justice at Smithfield should be proud of their role in this win." The agreement was announced by Smithfield and the UFCW in a joint statement as the company's lawsuit was about to go to trial Monday in federal court. In a joint statement, Smithfield and the union said they "have agreed on what both parties believe to be a fair election process" on union representation at the Tar Heel plant. The settlement was sealed, and U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne ordered the parties to say nothing further about the deal until after the union election. It was unclear when that election would take place.
- click here for Larry O'Dell's complete AP report. Photo: At the June 19 Justice at Smithfield campaign launch in DC; photo by Tiye Kinlow