GREELEY, Colo. – Union members working at its Greeley, Colo. JBS USA processing plant recently voted to strike. More than 99 percent of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 members voted to authorize the strike. The vote was held June 27-28.

“This significant vote result demonstrates the workers determination to maintain a decent standard of living” said Kim Cordova, Local 7 president. “Healthcare remains the main issue in negotiations.”

Union members rejected an offer submitted by JBS USA on concerns that the deal shifted too much of the burden of health benefit costs onto employees. JBS USA, a subsidiary of São Paulo, Brazil-based JBS SA, and representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 have been in contract negotiations since Aug. 1, 2013.

“The UFCW notified the company Sunday morning regarding a strike authorization vote that concluded Saturday evening for our Greeley, Colorado, beef plant,” JBS said in a statement. “However, we look forward to continuing to work with the union's elected officials to reach a resolution. We believe we can reach a negotiated settlement that serves the interests of our team members, union membership, the greater Greeley community and the economic viability of the facility. Toward that end, we have agreed to an extension of the collective bargaining agreement, with retroactivity of the agreed upon first year wage increase, and trust that we can arrive at a solution during this extension period.”