At an informal meeting in Geneva on February 24, 2012, the provisional meat sector steering group agreed on the need for a framework for coordinating global, affiliate-driven work in the meat sector with the aim of improving union density, moving companies to respect union rights and raising standards for meat workers.
A proposal for a Meat Division to be established as an article 13 special group will be made to the IUF 26th Congress.
As part of the preliminary work programme, initial research and corporate and union mapping are being carried out. This involves an inventory of resources and information available to the IUF and the affiliates and the design of a template to be used to gather more information and fill in the gaps. The UFCW has kindly seconded a member of their own research department to the IUF during the month of April 2012 to help advance this work. The research and mapping focuses on the key companies identified by affiliates: JBS, BRF, Marfrig, Danish Crown, Vion, Tyson, Cargill and Smithfield/Campofrio.
Meeting participants reviewed and endorsed the proposed blueprint for the IUF’s work and targets in the coming five years in the meat sector (-> available here), and endorsed a solidarity statement in support of UNITE in their fight with VION Foods in Cambuslang near Glasgow for decent wages and working conditions; in support of the Brazilian affiliates’ efforts to see laws passed regulating working conditions in the meat sector in Brazil; in solidarity with Solidarnosc’ members facing redundancy at a Smithfield plant in Poland.