Smithfield, Union To Start NC Pork Plant Talks

The North Carolina company that owns the world's largest pork processing plant will negotiate with a workers union this week for the first time since the plant opened in 1992.

Smithfield Packing Co. and union officials confirmed Friday that talks will begin Wednesday.

The union works on behalf of the plant's 4,500 workers in Tar Heel, a rural town south of Raleigh. It won the support of a majority of voting workers in December.

The two sides spent 16 years in a heated dispute over union efforts, mostly focused on how workers should be allowed to vote.

Smithfield Packing's parent company, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., said this week it plans to lay off 1,800 workers and close six factories because of a slump in the meat industry.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Feb 23, 2009 at 08:11 PM
    They will close the plants, build new ones in Mexico and rail the hogs down there. End of Story.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2009 at 06:14 AM
    Unions are only needed for inhumane conditions. There are a 1000 people that would like to have 1 job in this plant. A good worker does not need help from any union. Union officials wages, take away the profits from the company. No profit, the company closes.
  • by Kimo Location: Belhaven on Feb 21, 2009 at 05:55 AM
    I can't understand why it took them so long to figure out to vote. All they had to do was come to Washington and get our favorite Rev. to show them how to do it.
  • by robert Location: newport on Feb 21, 2009 at 05:44 AM
    Fire the union and keep anyone that will work for fair wages. Jobs are hard to find...
  • by pj Location: greenville on Feb 21, 2009 at 04:45 AM
    They will be closed in a year. Just look at Detroit. Unions cause jobs to disappear.
  • by Porker Location: Hogpen on Feb 20, 2009 at 07:42 PM
    Is this part of the pork bill produced by congress and signed by "The One"?
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Feb 20, 2009 at 06:13 PM
    Will the union run Smithfield as they do GM and Crysler? Will they take the water out of the meat?
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