Smithfield Gathers Letters Asking Union To Schedule A Vote

Smithfield Foods says more than half of its employees in Tar Heel have signed letters asking a union to allow a vote at the plant.

A company spokesman says almost three-thousand employees signed letters during a meeting this week. The company and a group of employees were to deliver the letters to a Raleigh post office yesterday afternoon.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International union says the meeting was "coercive" and much of it was conducted in front of management. Employee Keith Ludlum says the company asked people to sign the letters after showing an anti-union video.

The company says it wants a secret-ballot election to determine if employees want a union. Union workers say the company has a history of meddling in such elections.