As contract expires, workers at Austin Hormel plant to vote on final offer from company

Published 2:15 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

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Workers at the Hormel plant in Austin, Minnesota will vote on a final offer from the company on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week after the current contract with the company expired on Sunday. 

In a statement issued on Sunday, the UFCW Local 663 bargaining committee recommended a “no” vote in the face of a final offer by the company they deemed as unsatisfactory. 

“As essential meatpacking workers, we were proud to feed America during the pandemic. We made huge sacrifices to keep our communities fed and should be compensated as the heroes we are,” the statement read. “Last week, Hormel gave us their ‘final offer.’ They refuse to give us good wages and secure pensions after record company profits. We, the bargaining committee, unanimously recommend a “NO” vote next week. We believe we can win more if we stick together.”

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 The vote comes on the heels of current contract negotiations between United Food & Commercial Workers Locals throughout the country and Hormel.

On Labor Day, hundreds of Hormel workers and their families marched throughout Austin as they honored the legacy of workers’ rights and demanded a fair contract.

Prior to the march, President Rena Wong had hoped for an offer that showed more respect for workers.

“We hope Hormel comes up with a more respectful proposal for our members in terms of their wages, health insurance, retirement,” she said. “Things that are of the utmost importance to not only Hormel members, but really all workers.”

Hormel’s gross profits reached $2.052 billion over the past 12 months.

In Sunday’s press release, the bargaining committee said it hopes to reach a fair agreement quickly.