COMPTON, CALIF. – Foster Farms workers, represented by Teamsters Local 630, prepared to strike after members voted on July 18 to reject the company’s most recent contract offer. The Compton Foster Farms facility manufactures poultry products for a range of institutions, retailers and foodservice operators throughout California.
“Foster Farms has been negotiating a multi-year employee contract with the Teamsters 630 union for its Compton, Calif., frozen food plant,” the company said. “The negotiations have been conducted in good faith, but the Teamsters rejected Foster Farms’ most recent offer, which includes competitive pay increases and a comprehensive benefits package.
“Foster Farms has a long history of successfully negotiating mutually beneficial contracts with labor unions at all of our represented facilities,” the company added. “With the assistance of a federal mediator, Foster Farms will continue to negotiate in good faith with Teamsters 630 and looks forward to a timely and amicable contract agreement.”
The union’s contract with the poultry processor expired on June 14, 2020, and workers are currently working under an extension agreement that can be terminated with seven days’ notice by either party. The production, sanitation, warehouse and maintenance workers are employed at the Compton Foster Farms facility.
The union said members at the facility voted nearly unanimously against a contract proposal they say would shift thousands of dollars of healthcare costs onto the workers. Most of the workers are paid the state minimum wage, the union said, and Foster Farms is facing allegations of violating federal labor law by refusing to provide its Compton workforce with contractually obligated retroactive wage increases.
Foster Farms employs more than 12,000 with facilities throughout California, Oregon and Washington as well as Farmerville, La., and Demopolis, Ala. The company produces fresh chicken and turkey products in addition to pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully cooked products.