This week, JBS workers in Souderton, Pa., overwhelmingly voted to accept a new five-year contract. The contract covers more than 1,100 workers.
Negotiations for a new agreement began last December. UFCW Local 1776 members bargained in solidarity for affordable health care and fair wage increases. Many members participated in various chain activities leading up to ratifying the new contract.
“This year we have more people active and involved and taking part in the process. We worked together to be effective and to work to satisfy all workers,” said Michelet Felix, UFCW Local 1776 JBS worker.
The five year agreement, which will expire in August 2019, includes affordable health care for employees and their families and significant wage increases for the full term of the agreement along with additional bonuses in the first year. The agreement includes workers in two different units, the JBS slaughter and processing beef plant and the nearby JBS rendering facility.
Wendell W. Young, IV, President of UFCW Local 1776, said that the vote “can be accredited to the solidarity between UFCW members.”
Young continued: “There is no doubt that the strength and solidarity amongst the workers played a tremendous role in securing this contract. That solidarity stretched from JBS workers in other UFCW plants here in the United States to the global solidarity shown by union JBS workers in Brazil. JBS workers recognize the value both chain and global unity has in achieving what they deserve.”