Strike averted as Hormel union workers ratify new contract

Hormel union workers ratify agreement

The agreement was reached to pay hourly workers $3-$6 more an hour.

Union workers at Hormel have voted to ratify an agreement with the company.

According to leaders of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663, the deal approved on Wednesday includes the largest wage increase in the company’s history – an hourly wage increase of $3-$6 more per hour.

More than 17,000 employees are represented by the union and have been threatening to strike after their contract expired last month.

The union released the following statement after the deal was ratified:

“Our members who work at Hormel Foods locations in Minnesota, Georgia, Wisconsin and Iowa voted today to ratify a contract that includes the largest wage increase in the company’s history. In addition to gaining hourly wage increases of $3-$6 an hour, the new contract nearly doubles bereavement leave, protects healthcare coverage, and increases both pension and 401k benefits. This critical victory could not have happened without the hard work and solidarity of our members across four Local Unions. Today proves that when workers stand together and make their voices heard, they win. While we celebrate this historic and much-deserved victory, the work will continue. We will dedicate ourselves to enforcing this contract and ensuring that Hormel lives up to their commitments over the next four years.”

Marc Perrone, UFCW International President

Hundreds of employees and their families have been picketing throughout Austin while leaders negotiated.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, the tentative agreement was reached last week on Wednesday night.

Hormel had put an offer in September, but it was rejected by UFCW Locals 663 as well as 1996 (Atlanta, Georgia), 1473 (Beloit, Wisconsin) and 1155 (Algona, Iowa).

The company offered the following statement on Thursday:

“We are pleased that we have reached a new, four-year agreement with the unions representing our team members in Atlanta, Ga., Austin, Minn., Algona, Iowa, and Beloit, Wis. We are proud to continuously invest in our people in recognition of the work they do to put the safe, quality food that consumers trust and need on tables across the globe.”

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