JBS, union ink new contract

by Erica Shaffer
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Workers at a JBS slaughtering plant in Plainwell, Mich., voted to ratify a new labor contract. The workers are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 951 which represents approximately 900 workers at the plant.

Under the terms of the contract, union members will receive a wage increase ranging from 85 cents to more than $3 per hour. Base rates will increase $2.05 per hour over the next four years which is an increase from base rates that currently range from $10.35 per hour to $26 per hour.

In addition to wage increases, union members will have the opportunity to save money on medical expenses by receiving free services at designated clinics.

“Other UFCW locals have negotiated similar clinic provisions in their medical insurance plans with JBS and they have been extremely successful,” John Cakmakci, UFCW 951 president said. “Members save money on their medical expenses, and the employer’s insurance costs are reduced over time because people aren’t waiting to receive treatment. It's a win, win situation.”

Additionally, the new contract keeps double-time pay for work on Sundays and holidays, time-and-a-half pay for work on a sixth day in a single week and for work performed beyond eight hours in a day.
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