"Congratulations to our JBS members! The new contract was ratified with a historic turnout and an overwhelming vote to accept the new contract," the union said on its website. "It was a long and hard struggle that ended with a great victory for our JBS members."
The bargaining committee for UFCW Local 7 fully recommended the proposed deal, which was put to a vote on July 22. Local 7 represents 3,000 workers at the JBS USA plant.
The agreement includes, among other benefits, a $1.80 hour pay increase over the five-year term of the agreement; a 60 cents per hour increase in the first year to be paid retroactively to the original contract expiration date of Sept. 29, 2013; benefits and guarantees in case of plant closing or shift elimination and plant-wide seniority for job bidding.
Unions in Grand Island, Neb., and Worthington, Minn., have also ratified contracts. Contract negotiations are ongoing in Souderton, Pa., and Louisville, Ky. Union members in Omaha, Neb., will begin negotiations in the coming months.