On Nov. 1, members of UFCW Local 293 who work at Wholestone Farms in Fremont, Neb., ratified a historic new contract with the first-ever paid sick leave provided by the company. The contract also includes provisions to strengthen pay, health care coverage, and retirement benefits. Wholestone Farms is one of the region’s largest pork processing facilities and this contract sets a powerful precedent for other Nebraska workers in the industry.
The three-year contract includes:
- First-ever paid sick leave provided by the company in historic win for workers.
- Pay increases of $2.85 per hour in recognition of extraordinary service in pandemic.
- Health care coverage strengthened as part of commitment to employees and families.
- Retirement plan strengthened by increased contribution from company.
- Worksite resources with visits from union stewards to help with any safety questions.
- Higher night shift pay for workers who take on evening shifts to support production.
- Overtime pay enhanced to recognize employees working beyond scheduled shifts.
“With this new contract, Nebraska meatpacking workers are sending a powerful message that every company in the industry must step up and recognize the incredible sacrifices made and danger faced by these frontline workers who helped millions of Americans put food on the table during this health crisis,” said UFCW Local 293 President Eric Reeder in a statement.
“As the union for these Nebraska frontline workers, UFCW Local 293 was proud to stand with our union’s members at Wholestone Farms to secure this robust contract that they have earned and deserve,” Reeder added. “Ensuring these jobs continue to be good Nebraska jobs for working families across our state is the best way for us to thank our essential workers.”
“Helping feed Nebraska families during the pandemic is something that made me proud to go to work throughout this crisis,” said UFCW Local 293 member Claudia Payes, who works at the Wholestone Farms Fremont facility. “With this new paid sick leave in our contract, my co-workers and I will never have to worry about choosing between our health and a paycheck. I’m thankful our union has always had our back and helped us achieve this strong contract that will keep me safe and help me continue to provide for my three kids. Every worker in Nebraska deserves to have a good-paying union job and I am hopeful that this contract will inspire even more workers to stand up for the good pay and benefits they deserve.”