DENVER – Following months of considering options, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) District Union Local 7 announced on Sept. 2 that the union and JBS USA reached a collective bargaining agreement at the meat processing plant in Greeley, Colo. The contract was signed for four years.

UFCW Local 7 stated that wages for facility workers will now range from $21.75 to $28.25 an hour depending on their role at JBS. The new contract also has 100 different positions that will see grade increases and increase in disability pay from $250 a week to $425 a week. Plus, a health insurance PPO plan that lets employees choose health care providers.

“We are pleased to announce the achievement of this new agreement in partnership with Local 7 that will benefit our team members at the Greeley beef production facility,” said Tim Schellpeper, president of JBS USA fed beef division. “Our priority is always the health and safety of our workforce, and we believe the new CBA positively contributes to the overall well-being of our team. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with Local 7 and to ensuring that JBS USA is an employer of choice for our current and future team members.”

The leaders of the UFCW Local 7 said the new contract provides members with some of the highest wages in the meatpacking industry in the United States.

“After a difficult year, we are proud to bring our JBS Greeley members something to be happy about: a contract that benefits their wallets, health and well-being, and provides a safer workplace,” said Kim Cordova, president of UFCW Local 7. “We look forward to continuing to work hard for our members to ensure that they are heard and that their work and contributions are respected.”

Along with wage and benefit improvements, both sides agree to a letter of understanding regarding dangerous emergencies that includes safety protocols and training requirements.

“There were also improvements to the Safety Committee, an update to the definition of a ‘serious injury,’ and additions of certain protected classes,” UFCW Local said in its statement. The group represents more than 3,000 workers at the plant in Greeley.