Meatpacking workers reject Hormel offer

Published 4:54 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

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Workers at the Hormel Foods plant in Austin voted overwhelmingly to reject a final offer from the company. Voting took place Sept. 13-14 at the plant and UFCW union hall in Austin.

“This week our coworkers voted overwhelmingly to reject Hormel’s final offer to us. It’s simply not good enough. We stand united, and are willing to fight for more for our families and our community,” The UFCW Local 663 bargaining committee said in a statement. “Hormel’s record profits are just wages not shared fairly with the rest of us. The reality is that we keep Hormel running. We demand that Hormel does better and comes to the table for a fair agreement quickly.”

Hormel released its own statement, indicating the company was disappointed by the vote, but believes an agreement can be reached.

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“We are disappointed in the vote, especially given the significant contract package offered, however, we remain optimistic that we will reach agreement,” the statement read. “The parties have agreed to a contract extension until October 8 as we continue negotiations. Hormel Foods has had strong working relationships with the UFCW for decades, including Austin, and remain confident that these positive relationships will continue as we finalize these new agreements.”

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 for the legacy of workers’ rights and demanding a fair contract.

Negotiations will begin again in October.

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

The Austin plant employs over 1700 UFCW Local 663 members.