Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Bitter Dispute Ends at Monfort

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Bitter Dispute Ends at Monfort

Article excerpt

Meatpacking employees represented by Local 7 of the United Food and Commercial Workers at Monfort, Inc., over-whelmingly approved a 3-year contract, the first negotiated collective bargaining agreement since 1979. About 1,850 workers at the company's Greeley, CO, plant are covered under the pact, which increases wages, improves sick leave, and enhances seniority rights. In a separate vote, union members approved a union shop agreement, requiring all employees to join the union within 30 days after they begin work and to remain a union member as a condition of employment.

The contract, which the union said was "a moment of history in the labor movement," concluded 15 years of bitter labor-management relations. Union members struck the company in November 1979, after an impasse was reached in negotiations, and returned to work in February 1980, after the company threatened to hire permanent replacements. Two months later, Monfort closed the facility, and transferred operations to a plant in Grand Island, NE. Monfort reopened the Greeley plant in March 1982, but did not rehire many former employees.

In July 1983, employees narrowly voted down union representation in the face of charges alleging interference and intimidation by Monfort. …

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