Confined Space
News and Commentary on Workplace Health & Safety, Labor and Politics

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Court Rules Against Smithfield Packing In Union Case

And speaking of meatpacking plants, a federal court decided yesterday that Smithfield Packing Company had repeatedly broken the law in fighting the United Food and Commercial Workers union's (UFCW) attempt to organize its pork-processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C. nine years ago.

I wrote more about the plant (or actually I wrote more about NY Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse's article about attempts to organize the plant) here earlier this year.
Concluding that Smithfield had engaged in "intense and widespread coercion," the appeals court upheld the labor board's ruling that one worker was improperly coerced when he was ordered to stamp hogs with a "Vote No" stamp.

The appeals court ordered Smithfield to reinstate four fired workers, one of whom was beaten by the plant's police the day of the election. The court concurred with the labor board's findings that Smithfield's managers were not credible when they insisted that the four workers were fired for reasons other than their support for the union.

The circuit court noted that Smithfield had illegally confiscated union materials, spied on workers' union activities, threatened to fire workers who voted for the union, and threatened to freeze wages and shut the plant if the employees unionized. The Smithfield plant has 5,500 employees and is the world's largest pork-processing facility.
As I wrote before, instead of calling for a new election, the union is putting together a coalition of churches, civil rights groups and colleges students to press the company for neutrality in the unionization fight. Not surprisingly, the company opposes those tactics, boasting about how well management and employees work together, that they don't need a "third party", that neutrality would "bar the company from telling employees about the downside of unionization," workers would be "shielded from the facts," and wouldn't learn the "full story."

Labels:




Go To My Main Page

Google Groups Subscribe to Confined Space
Email:
Browse Archives at groups.google.com




Google
Search WWW Search Confined Space

/div>

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this Blog are my own and do not, in any way, shape or form, reflect or represent the views or policies of my employer. Links to or from other websites of individuals or organizations do not constitute an endorsement of these views.
Looking for Confined Space Safety Information?
Click Here

Google
Search Web Search Confined Space

Greatest Hits


BP Texas City Explosion Stories

2006 Mine Disaster Stories

Popcorn Lung Stories

Speech on Receiving the APHA Lorin Kerr Award
by Jordan Barab, November 9, 2004


Acts of God, Acts of Man," by Jordan Barab, Working USA

Lies, Partisanship Caused Ergo Standard to Crumble, by Jordan Barab, Safety + Health, February 2002

A Week of Death, by Jordan Barab, Hazards, February 5, 2003

Archives


March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007

Recent Posts



FINALIST

Koufax Award

For Best Single Issue Blog of 2003 and 2004