SIOUX FALLS, SD. – Smithfield Foods and United Food Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 304A are currently negotiating a new contract for unionized workers at its Sioux Falls pork processing plant.
The two sides have been negotiating a new contract following the expiration of the old one in May, which was extended for an additional month.
“This is an expected and routine result at this stage of an ongoing negotiation,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods. “Prior to this, both parties have been proactively planning for and scheduling additional meetings. We look forward to continued discussions as we work to produce safe, affordable and high-quality food products, sustainably.”
Lombardo said that the company offer to workers at Sioux Falls aligns with agreements in place with other locations represented by UFCW and clarified the company’s proposed agreement regarding employees’ break times during shifts.
“We again urge caution in regard to inaccurate statements by and on behalf of some union representatives, for they are a disservice to each of our employees, who have taken great pride throughout the pandemic in protecting the food supply,” Lombardo said. “For instance, the union claims the company is trying to eliminate a 15-minute break. We are not. The proposal would, in fact, ensure there is a second 15-minute break for those employees who work a full, 8-hour day.”
According to a report in the Argus Leader in South Dakota, the UFCW will not strike as negotiations go on this week.