Smithfield walkout redux
Facing South discusses the impact of the walk-out at the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina.
The job action is over and the workers won some key concessions. Smithfield promised to rehire the workers it had dismissed over their immigration status, pending the resolution of these disputes. The company also agreed not to retaliate against any of the 1,000 workers who participated in the walkout.
According to a statement issued by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Smithfield has agreed to the following:
1. Smithfield has agreed to increase the time allowed for employees to respond to "no match" letters from the Social Security Administration.
2. Employees who have been laid off for failure to resolve Social Security issues may return to work while they sort out these issues.
3. Smithfield's Human Resources Department will designate a staff member to help process "no match" Social Security issues and respond to questions.
4. Smithfield has agreed that if mistakes have been made, they will be addressed.
5. No disciplinary actions of any kind will be taken against those employees who participated in the walkout.
6. Tar Heel plant manager Larry Johnson will meet again with a group of Smithfield employees on Tuesday, November 21.
The Militant has a good article bout the strike, which includes interviews with several Smithfield workers.
Here's Katrina Vanden Hueval's editorial on the significance of the Smithfield walkout.