Smithfield Workers Threaten Walkout On Martin Luther King Holiday

Workers at the world's largest hog processing plant are threatening to walk off the job next week unless they are given a paid holiday on Martin Luther King Junior Day.

Hundreds of workers planned to skip work or walk out in protest Monday because Smithfield Foods refused to designate the day a paid holiday. Workers asked for the designation on Tuesday.

Smithfield employs about 5,000 workers to slaughter up to 32,000 hogs daily at the Bladen County plant.

About 1,000 workers walked off the job to protest the firings of about 50 employees as the company cracked down on undocumented workers. Employees returned the next day after Smithfield officials agreed give the workers 60 days to verify their identification documents.