Meat cutters at the world’s largest pork plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, have voted to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, a decision that should end more than 10 years of bitter fighting between the union and the plant’s owner, Smithfield Foods Inc.
The tally was 2,041 in favour of the union and 1,879 against. Smithfield is the largest U. S. hog and pork producer with annual sales of about $11 billion. Located about 20 miles south of Fayetteville, the Tar Heel facility opened in 1992 and employs about 5,000 workers, of which about 4,600 were eligible to vote for union representation.
Prior to the recent Tar Heel vote, 28,800 of Smithfield’s 58,100 employees were represented by unions, according to the company’s annual report.