AUSTIN, MINN. — On Labor Day, Sept. 4, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 663 held a march through downtown Austin, Minn., as a testament to the unity of meatpacking workers.

The union’s current contract with Hormel Foods Corp. is set to expire Sept. 10. With only a few days left before its expiration, UFCW created a march to bring attention to the need for a fair contract.

The event represents workers standing together for industry leading wages, increased job safety and improved benefits, UFCW said.

The march began at the Austin Labor Center on 316 Northeast 4th Avenue at 11 a.m. Included among the stops through downtown Austin was the SPAM Museum, which is dedicated to the brand of precooked meat products by Hormel.

UFCW Local 663 represents over 1,600 essential meatpacking workers at Hormel.

Negotiations for a new contract are still ongoing.

“Hormel Foods has had strong working relationships with the UFCW for decades, including in Austin,” said Rick Williamson, spokesperson for Hormel. “Our representatives will continue to negotiate in good faith, and we remain optimistic that we will reach agreements with the UFCW in the near future.”