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United Food and Commerical Workers members ratify pact

03.29.11

MARCH 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

United Food and Commerical Workers members ratify pact

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 26th- The United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1776 members at JBS Soudertown, Inc. meatpacking plant in Montgomery County recently ratified a first-time labor contract.

The new three-year contract agreement covers approximately 1,200 JBS Soudertown employees, which voted in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election on October 5th, 2010, to be represented by the UFCW for the purpose of collective bargaining.

“We stood together in choosing to form a union. Now we have a contract that guarantees wages, improves our health care and vacation benefits and spells out steps for grievance and arbitration when differences arise. We have a voice at work,” stated Bernie Coneghen, a JBS Soudertown employee and member of the bargaining unit.

The UFCW Union victory was one of the biggest units of employees to vote in favor of unionization in Pennsylvania in 2010.

“The election and contract negotiations demonstrate that when workers have a fair open choice, they choose union representation and create an environment that is fairer and more productive for workers, the company and the community at-large.

We applaud JBS for taking the high road in allowing a fair and free process,” stated Wendell Young IV, President of UFCW Local 1776, in Plymouth Meeting, which also has offices in Pittston Township and Gettysburg.

Local 1776 represents approximately 24,000 workers throughout Southeastern, Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania, including the Dunmore Department of Public Workers; Citterio USA in Freeland; Cargill Manufacturing in Hazleton; Rite Aid Drug Stores; Wise Chips in Berwick, and the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Shoppes.

In ratifing their labor contract the JBS Souderton workers joined 27,000 other JBS workers and 250,000 meatpacking and poultry workers in the United States who are represented by the United Food and Commerical Workers Union.

The United Food and Commerical Workers International Union in Washington, DC. has 1.3 million members including workers employed in the healthcare, garment, chemical, distillery and retail industries.

Mr. Young added the successful contract conclusion ends a 20-year effort
by some of the JBS Soudertown Inc. workers at the plant to be union represented.

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