GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Workers at a production facility south of Plainwell, Mich., ratified their first union contract, and will be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951, the UFCW announced May 24.

The four-year agreement covers roughly 1,000 workers at the plant. JBS workers at the plant elected union representation in October 2011 authorizing the UFCW to represent them in contract negotiations with the company.

"In addition to a grievance procedure to ensure fairness, the workers were pleased to see the wage increases, reduction in their co-pay for health benefits, and additional paid time off," said John Cakmakci, UFCW 951 secretary/treasurer and chief union negotiator. "Beyond that, JBS workers are happy that they can now go to work with peace of mind and security knowing that all the benefits and protections in their union contract are guaranteed.

“These were very positive negotiations, and we look forward to continuing to build a productive working relationship with JBS," he said.

There are 28,000 JBS workers and 250,000 meatpacking and poultry workers in the United States who are covered by a UFCW union contract.