Agreement on Smithfield pork plant
The strike at a Smithfield pork plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, US, has
come to an end.
After a two-day walk out by hundreds of workers, Smithfield agreed to
workers' demands to halt wholesale firings of employees and agreed to reconsider
their implementation of immigration policies in the plant.
The company, for the first time, also agreed to meet with a group of workers
elected by the workers themselves to further negotiate about plant issues and
The employees had been walking off the job in an attempt to protest the
company's firing of about 50 employees, all Latino, who were suspected of being
However, Smithfield officials claimed the company was forced to fire the
workers because of stepped-up scrutiny by US authorities, responsible for work
The walk-out caused thousands of calls to the company from national
religious, civil rights and immigrant rights organisations demanding that the
workers' rights be respected.
Following the strike, the company agreed to negotiate around the workers'
issues through the Catholic Church. The company acknowledged that they had
misinterpreted the law and agreed to make adjustments to comply.
Related news items:
â€¢ US Smithfield employees on strike (20 Nov 2006)
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