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UNION WORKERS WIN AT MONFORT GREELEY PLANT; FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS REESTABLISH UNION DOMINANCE IN MEATPACKING INDUSTRY

 WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- After a fight that lasted more than a decade, the union is back at the Monfort beef processing plant in Greeley, Colo. In a union representation election held April 30, workers voted 814 to 732 for the union despite a management campaign of coercion, intimidation and discrimination against union supporters.
 William H. Wynn, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) President, said, "For years, Monfort management has waged a ruthless and illegal war on the workers at Greeley -- and now management has lost. The determination of the Greeley workers to organize shows the growing power and strength of unionism in the meatpacking industry."
 The union organizing effort began at the Greeley beef processing plant in 1982 when the facility reopened as a nonunion operation. The plant which had operated with union workers closed in 1980.
 Monfort set the pattern for its illegal campaign of interference, discrimination and intimidation directed at union supporters when the company refused in 1982 to rehire over 250 union members previously employed at the plant.
 Following charges brought by the UFCW, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found Monfort guilty of pervasive violations of the workers' legal rights. A federal court in 1992 issued an extensive order directing Monfort to stop its illegal anti-union campaign, and, in a rarely used remedy, the court ordered the company to allow union organizers access to the plant.
 The NLRB recently petitioned the federal appeals court to hold Monfort in contempt of the 1992 court order. The Labor Board is seeking the largest prospective fines -- $200,000 per future violation -- for labor law violations in history.
 For the union and the workers in the meatpacking industry, the victory at Greeley confirms the resurgence of unionization in meatpacking, and could have an impact on wages throughout the industry. The Monfort Greeley plant was one of the largest non-union operations in the country.
 "The UFCW has put together the most comprehensive organizing program to re-unionize an industry in history. With the workers winning at Monfort, the union workforce predominates in the meatpacking industry," said Phil Immesote, UFCW International Vice-President, and director of the union's Food Processing, Packing and Manufacturing Division.
 The 1980s brought a restructuring of the industry, and an effort by corporate management to eliminate the union. According to union figures, the organizing program has not only stopped the de-unionization of the industry, but has now extended union representation to approximately 65 percent of production workers in the meatpacking industry.
 According to Immesote, "Union workers are building the strength to bring decent wages and safe workplaces to the meatpacking industry. The union victory at Monfort is just the beginning. Union workers are coming back, and they're coming back strong."
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: Greg Denier of the United Food and Commercial Workers, 202-223-3111, ext. 1591/


CO: United Food and Commercial Workers ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

KD-DC -- DC030 -- 3958 05/03/93 16:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 3, 1993
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