The news program NOW on PBS traveled to Tar Heel, North Carolina this week to report on the twelve-year long battle to unionize the Smithfield packing plant there. It is the worlds largest packing plant, and is located in a relatively rural part of the state. The United Food and Commercial Workers have been fighting against employer intimidation and other anti-union tactics at the plant since it opened in 1990.
“[Smithfield] values the hog and the processing of that hog more than they do the safety and the well-being of their employees,” [long time employee Keith] Ludlum tells NOW. The UFCW is calling for a national boycott of Smithfield products.
You can watch the show online if you missed the local playing on PBS.
Rolling Stone magazine also has a long feature article this week on Smithfield Foods and environmental concerns associated with the concentration of livestock.
One Reply to “Smithfield and Organized Labor”
Smithfield is one of the contestants in the Jobs with Justice “Grinch of the Year” contest. Vote before 5pm Dec. 20th at http://www.jwj.org/grinch.html. Please spread the word!