On February 3, workers at Dairy Farmers of America, a milk processing plant in Adrian, voted for representation with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union in an effort to gain job security and a voice on the job. The February 3 vote ends the workers’ two-month union organizing campaign during which they stood in solidarity.
“The workers at DFA are very much a close community, and watching management mistreat coworkers provided the incentive needed for workers to find their voices,” Krista Sturgis, UFCW 876 organizing director, said.
Workers became interested in forming a union when management increasingly began to use intimidation tactics to increase productivity. Workers cited wanting respect, equality and accountability as reasons to vote for union representation.
“I am really proud of my coworkers today,” Noah Hefner, a DFA receiver said after the vote. “I cannot imagine achieving this with any other group. We are ready to make real progress by bargaining a fair contract with management.”
Approximately 48,000 workers belong to UFCW Michigan, composed of Madison Heights-based UFCW 876 and Grand Rapids-based UFCW 951. UFCW Michigan members work for a variety of retailers including Meijer, Kroger and Rite Aid, along with numerous other companies in several industries including
food processing, automotive supply, and health care.