Smithfield Factory Plans To Unionize

Workers at the world's largest pork slaughterhouses in rural North Carolina are deciding on a contract offer from a Smithfield Foods subsidiary.

As many as 5,000 workers at the packing plant near Lumberton
will finish voting Wednesday on an initial union contract. Both
sides have refused to describe details of the deal until the vote
is counted late Wednesday.

The company and the United Food and Commercial Workers had been
locked in a bitter dispute over union organizing efforts since the
plant opened in 1992.

Workers at the Tar Heel plant complained of injuries from the
fast pace of the butchering process. Others complained that they
were treated as dispensable.

The plant processes up to 32,000 live hogs a day.

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