Hormel, union workers agree to new contract

Published 9:24 am Thursday, October 12, 2023

On Wednesday, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million essential workers in grocery, meatpacking, retail, and other essential industries across North America, ratified a new contract with Hormel Foods Corp.

The new contract touches on a wage increase as well as increases in other areas as well as benefits.

“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,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “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”

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In a statement from company, Hormel Foods said it was happy it could reach an agreement with workers, calling it an investment.

“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, Wisconsin,” the statement read. “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.”

This new step in contract negotiations comes nearly a month after union workers turned down an offer by the company, with the bargaining company claiming the offer from Hormel wasn’t enough.

Perrone credited workers for staying with the process and standing together. 

This critical victory could not have happened without the hard work and solidarity of our members across four Local Unions,” he said. “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.” 

Earlier this month, the two sides came to a tentative agreement and voting for this latest measure took place over Sept. 13-14.