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Meat Workers News

Migrant workers in meatpacking gain U.S. citizenship with union assistance 29-11-2018

In Marshalltown Iowa, workers in the meatpacking sector from Central America, Asia, and Africa have gained citizenship with the financial and practical assistance from their union, UFCW Local 1149.
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Spanish affiliates fight bogus self-employment in the meat sector 21-09-2018

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Several hundred members of CC.OO and UGT assembled outside a meat sector trade fair in Madrid on September 19 to call for living wages and secure, regular employment in the Spanish meat sector. In recent years employers have taken their demand for employment flexibility to the extreme through the establishment of fake worker cooperatives and the contracting of vulnerable workers in bogus self-employment arrangements.


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Reinstate #TheCargill14 now! 18-09-2018

Cargill14Istanbulrally2A large rally on September 18 in front of Cargill's Istanbul head office, with participants from 22 trade union, civil and political organizations, showed the wide support for the fourteen workers and members of IUF affiliate Tekgida-Is who have been continuously protesting since they were dismissed over 150 days ago while organizing a union at Cargill in Bursa-Orhangazi, Turkey.  

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AMR, Superbugs and the workplace 26-07-2018

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - the development of 'superbugs' resistant to antibiotic treatment - has emerged as a major global threat to public health. Yet worker health and safety has been almost completely ignored in the global fight against AMR.


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IUF U.S. affiliates condemn criminalization of migrant workers 22-06-2018

IUF U.S. affiliates have expressed outrage at the actions of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) which detained 146 workers in raids at a Fresh Mark pork processing plant in Salem, Ohio where workers are members of the RWDSU/UFCW. The migrant workers who risk prosecution and deportation are mostly from Guatemala, and have settled with their families in Ohio.

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Reinstate the Cargill 14 now! 19-06-2018

CargillFourteen union activists were unfairly dismissed from their jobs on April 17, 2018 while organizing a union at Cargill-Turkey in Bursa-Orhangazi. These 14 dismissals follow those of seven other workers who were also unfairly dismissed in 2015.



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Affiliates must be at the negotiating table on environmental policy 23-03-2018

iufmeatdivsion2The IUF Meat Division resolved at a planning meeting in San Francisco on March 14 & 15 that affiliates must be at the negotiating table in discussions over environmental policy and changing jobs and is planning to increase its knowledge and resources to equip affiliates to defend the rights and interests of their members.
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HKScan meat workers in Estonia strike for rights, recognition and a collective agreement 02-03-2018

StrikingMeatWorkersEstoniaHKScanWorkers on the slaughter line at the HKScan meat factory in Rakvere, Estonia have been on strike since February 6 for their right to union recognition and a wage increase through collective bargaining.

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Estonian meat workers strike 06-02-2018

Slaughterhouse workers at Rakvere, Estonia struck spontaneously in October 2017 at the repeated refusal by their employer, the Finnish transnational HK Scan, to offer a pay rise.

Following the strike the workers were organized by local union IMTAL which is affiliated to the Estonian Trade Union confederation (EAKL). The union entered into formal negotiations with HK Scan but the company obstinately refused any pay increase.

A final attempt to negotiate a settlement on February 1 failed and the workers began a new strike on February 6.


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NGG concludes bargaining for meat workers in Germany 05-02-2018

IUF affiliate the NGG has concluded difficult and lengthy negotiations on an industry wide collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which sets minimum working conditions in the meat sector. The CBA must now be approved by the Bundestag, as the agreement is part of changes to the Posting of Workers Act which sets the rules on migrant labour 'posted' in Germany from other countries within the EU.
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U.S. workers win safety campaign 01-02-2018

Poultry workers in the United States have won an important victory after campaigning against a petition by the National Chicken Council to the Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) to remove the maximum line speed. They defeated a proposal that would have put workers at greater risk of injury and consumers at greater risk of illness.
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U.S poultry workers at risk following proposed line speed increase 13-09-2017

U.S chicken companies are once again seeking US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval to increase line speeds from 140 to 170 birds per minute.

The move is strongly opposed by unions, academics and meat inspectors citing worker safety and food safety concerns.
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JBS sells Moy Park to JBS! 13-09-2017

Brazilian meatpacker JBS, on an asset selling spree to pay fines after executives admitted bribing politicians in Brazil, has announced it is selling Northern Ireland based Moy Park to Pilgrims Pride, a company in which JBS has a 78% shareholding.

Poultry processor Moy Park has 13 plants in the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands and processes 5.7 million birds per week. U.S. based Pilgrims Pride will use Moy Park as a platform to expand its operations in Europe.
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New Zealand meatworkers win long court battle over illegal lockout 13-09-2017

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The New Zealand Supreme Court has dismissed Talley/Affco's challenge to the Court of Appeal ruling that the company unlawfully locked out workers at the beginning of the 2015-16 meat processing season.

Talleys/Affco argued that the workers were not employees at the time they were locked out due to the seasonal nature of employment. However the Supreme Court ruled that the company had obligations to re-hire workers in line with the existing union contract.
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Tyson invests in antibiotic free chicken 13-09-2017

The U.S poultry giant will invest $320 million in a new complex at Tonganoxie, Kansas to produce for its new No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) brand. The facility will process 1.25 million chickens a week and employ up to 1600 workers.

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NGG achieves important protections for migrant workers in Germany 09-06-2017

As a result of campaigning by the IUF affiliate NGG, meat-processing employers must now assume liability for the actions of their subcontractors and for the payment of social security contributions.
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Something rotten in the world's largest meat company 08-06-2017

JBS%20imageJoesley and Wesley Batista, majority owners and controllers of JBS, have admitted bribing politicians and in a deal with prosecutors have agreed to pay USD3.2 billion in fines over the next 25 years. Joesley Batista provided prosecutors with a recording of Brazilian President Michel Temer endorsing the payment of a bribe by JBS to the former Speaker of the lower house of the Brazilian Congress, Eduardo Cunha, who was recently jailed for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

The release of this recording has intensified a major political and economic crisis in Brazil.

Workers, who already subsidize corruption with their taxes, low wages and unsafe work places, stand to lose more through instability and crisis.


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UFCW works with Tyson to create better and safer workplaces 02-05-2017

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the primary union for 70,000 poultry workers in the United States, has congratulated Tyson Foods for pledging to create a better workplace at its production facilities with new and expanded initiatives on safety, transparency, and compensation.
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Spain: strike by poultry and rabbit processing workers brings employers back to the bargaining table 19-04-2017

National strike action on April 11-12 by poultry and rabbit slaughtering and process workers in Spain has brought the employers back to the bargaining table.

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2 Sisters poultry plant to close, retaining jobs a union priority 13-04-2017


The news that the UK food company, 2 Sisters, is to close its Smethwick poultry plant in the West Midlands has been devastating for the 630 workers and their families.
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Spanish workers strike against employer push to expand precarious work 12-04-2017

Spanish poultry and rabbit slaughtering and process workers have responded to an employer attack on their employment security with a two day national strike on April 11 and 12. Striking workers are demanding that employers return to the negotiating table to strengthen stable employment, end subcontracting and improve wages.
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Brazil: CNTA condemns the greed and corruption exposed in Operation Weak Flesh 22-03-2017

The IUF affiliated Brazilian National Food Industry Workers Confederation-CNTA(Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias de Alimentação e Afins) has expressed outrage at the widespread corruption between the executives of major meat companies and the Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture,  uncovered by federal police in an operation dubbed 'Weak Flesh' and which may have led to the export and domestic sales of rotten meat.
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New Zealand Meat Workers Union reaches agreement with Talleys/AFFCO 06-03-2017

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Members of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union (NZMWU) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective bargaining agreement with Talleys/AFFCO.  The Agreement follows a two year fight with their employer which included a 5 month lockout at the processing plant in the town of Wairoa, the dismissal and reinstatement of union leaders, various court proceedings and a refusal by the company to recognize the union for the purposes of collective bargaining.


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Spanish affiliates fight bogus self employment 13-02-2017

The Spanish Parliament has approved a legal change that will prevent companies from outsourcing the most important parts of production to false cooperatives and employment agencies. The change will make working hours, salaries and social security at least the  equivalent of those prescribed in collective bargaining agreements that apply to employees.

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SEC investigates chicken pricing as Tyson reports solid profit. 13-02-2017

The U.S. meat giant Tyson has acknowledged that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating its chicken pricing practices following allegations that the company conspired for years with its competitors, including Pilgrim's Pride(JBS) and Sanderson Farms, to keep prices artificially high through buying each other's products and shipping excess breeding stock to Mexico.


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UFCW Locals settle collective bargaining agreements with major meat companies 01-02-2017

In the second half of 2016, U.S. affiliate the UFCW settled a number of local collective bargaining agreements with JBS, Tyson, Smithfield and Cargill. In a tough bargaining environment the union was able to protect pension and health insurance plans for its members and negotiate regular wage increases throughout the 5 year term of the agreements.
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U.S. Refugee and Migrant policies will impact meat sector 01-02-2017

The meat packing industry in the United States will be seriously impacted by President Trump's four month freeze on the nation's refugee programme and the 90 day ban on entry from seven predominantly Muslim states in the Middle East.
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European meat affiliates demand action to stop abuses 25-10-2016

On October 19, the German Food Workers Union NGG organized a conference for IUF European meat affiliates at Rheda-Wiedenbrück, where Tönnies, Germany's largest meat processor is based. According to the NGG, 3500 of the 4000 employees in the production line at the local factory are employed under temporary work contracts.
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NZ Meat Workers Union wins again in Court 06-10-2016

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After the New Zealand Employment Court ruled last February that the Talleys/AFFCO brutal 5 month lockout of union members was illegal, the company appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal- and lost again. Meanwhile in a separate case another Talleys owned meat company (Land Meat NZ) has been fined NZ$15,000 and ordered to enter into an arrangement to enter collective bargaining with the union within 6 weeks.
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IUF Meat Division develops work plan 06-10-2016

The Meat Division seeks cooperation between affiliates in reversing the trend towards outsourcing and the use of employment agencies to supply labour, and in investigating and publicizing any links between worker health and safety and food safety.
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UK High Court awards damages to poultry workers who were trafficked and enslaved 14-06-2016

The company forced workers to pay them prohibited fees, unlawfully withheld wages, calculated payment on the number of chickens caught rather than on time worked and traveling time, and failed to ensure adequate facilities for workers to wash, rest, eat and drink.
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U.S. poultry workers find health and safety protection by organizing. 08-06-2016

Two recent reports have again highlighted the dangerous and undignified working conditions in many poultry processing plants in the United States. The healthy and safe exceptions are primarily in plants that have unions, which offer important protections, inform workers of their rights, and ensure they have a voice on the job.
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Talleys/Affco meat tainted by workplace injuries and union-busting 03-05-2016

The New Zealand meat company Talleys/Affco has intensified attempts to eliminate the New Zealand Meat Workers Union as it continues to injure record numbers of workers.
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Germany: Dismissals and Uncertainty Following a Fire in a Poultry Plant 18-04-2016

International solidarity with embattled workers at New Zealand rights abuser Talleys/AFFCO 11-04-2016

StopbutcheringhumanrightsIUF affiliates in Asia/Pacific have been holding rolling actions to show solidarity and support for the New Zealand Meatworkers' Union fighting for union rights and safe working conditions at Talleys/AFFCO. Through the IUF, unions in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand have been demonstrating their support. The dozens of actions involve workers in dairy, fast food, fishing, sugar, food processing and agriculture and unions in transnational companies including Coca-Cola, Danone, Nestlé and Unilever.

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Work at rights-buster Talleys/AFFCO more dangerous than ever 30-03-2016

Talleys AFFCO, prosecuted for health and safety violations, lays off union members 07-03-2016

The District Court in New Zealand has ruled that serial rights abuser Talleys/AFFCO failed to meet its statutory obligations to provide a safe workplace after an experienced worker was impaled by a meat hook and dragged along the line at the company's Rangiuru plant.
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Talleys/AFFCO lockout lifted by court order, rights abuses continue 26-02-2016

Members of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union began returning to work at the Talleys/AFFCO Wairoa plant on February 22 following a court decision ordering the company to end the brutal 5-month lockout of union workers.
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Tyson's income surges on the back of low wages, wage theft, denied sick leave and discrimination 16-02-2016

Northwest Arkansas Workers' Justice Center (NWAWJC) released a report describing the appalling conditions and everyday struggles that face poultry workers. To bring about lasting change in the poultry sector, workers must organize.
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JBS Chairman charged with crimes against the financial system. 12-02-2016

Despite a denial from the company that Chairman Joesley Batista or any other executives of the world's largest meat processor were involved in the transaction, the news sparked a sell off in shares.
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Workplace slaughter and rights abuses continue at Talleys/AFFCO 01-02-2016

According to the New Zealand government's Accident Compensation Corporation, nearly 5,000 Talley's workers have been awarded over USD 4.7 million in compensation for workplace accidents over the last three years; 1,286 Talley's workers were injured on the job in 2014 alone.
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Lockout, dismissals, intimidation - serial rights abuses by New Zealand meat company Talleys/AFFCO 18-01-2016

975Two hundred workers at AFFCO, the New Zealand meat company owned by the anti-union Talley family, have been locked out since June last year for resisting the company's brutal push to replace negotiated collective agreements with individual contracts. Talleys/AFFCO is also punishing union members and workplace representatives with suspensions and dismissals. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO TALLEYS/AFFCO!

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Strengthening union organization in the meat sector 21-10-2015

IUF affiliates from the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific gathered in Chicago on October 13-14 for the 3rd IUF global meat conference. Participants endorsed a proposal for the establishment of an IUF meat division within the structures of the IUF to assist increasing union membership and strength and building effective union coordination on organizing and bargaining at all levels.
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UFCW action prompts US workplace safety agency to cite poultry producers for ergonomic hazards 06-07-2015

Safety complaints from UFCW members at the Allen Harim chicken processing plant at Harbeson, Delaware were upheld in June by OSHA, which found that workers are exposed to "excessive force and exertion, repetitive motions and awkward postures resulting in ergonomic stressors" leading to crippling repetitive strain injuries
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Meat giant goes on a shopping spree 02-07-2015

What do you do when your sales revenue exceeds USD 50billion a year? You go shopping! Three major acquisitions were made by JBS within a year.
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NZ meat company AFFCO Talleys threatens worker after she seeks support from her MP 07-05-2015

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AFFCO Talleys which locked out its workforce for several months in 2012, has threatened a butcher who has 15 years service with the company that she may not be re-hired after she approached her MP for support.
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Australia: meat workers stood down, migrants cast adrift 07-05-2015

Meat companies are increasingly employing migrant workers on temporary work visas to fill job vacancies in the seasonal Australian lamb processing sector. When lines and plants close due to supply and demand factors migrant workers are particularly hard hit.
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Health care protected in agreement with JBS 10-04-2015

Following six months of negotiations and campaigning, the workers union of the meat industry Criciuma region (SINTIACR), part of the IUF Brazilian affiliate CONTAC, has achieved a good outcome in their collective bargaining with JBS.
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NUW fights for the rights of workers exploited by poultry company while on holiday in Australia 13-03-2015

Go here to sign the union petition to demand payment to dozens of backpackers who are owed tens of thousands in backpay! B&E poultry should abide by Australian workplace law and stop exploiting workers on holiday in Australia that have language barriers or a lack of Australian workplace knowledge.
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NUW calls for direct hire employment in the poultry industry. 04-02-2015

The abuse of migrant workers employed by labour hire contractors in Australia has again been exposed by the IUF affiliated National Union of Workers (NUW)
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