Organized Labor Flexing Muscle-Hormel Foods Vulnerable


With a labor strike against the major Detroit automakers and their supplier in progress, a wide range of unions in the U.S. are driving hard bargains to renew contracts.


Hormel Foods is the latest company to experience intransigence from unions with workers at the Austin, MN. plant about to vote on a company package incorporating increased wage rates, enhanced safety and improved benefits.


The bargaining committee of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Local 663, recommended a rejection with the Chairman stating, “We believe we can win more if we stick together.”


Rick Williamson, a company spokesperson, stated, “Hormel Foods has had strong working relationships with the UFCW for decades including the Austin plant.”  He added, “Our representatives will continue to negotiate in good faith.”


Hormel Foods is optimistic that a deal will be concluded to replace a contract that expired on September 10th.  Based on the respective comments from the union and the company, it appears there is a wide expanse of daylight between their respective perceptions of the likelihood of a contract in the near future.