UFCW members and organizers from locals across Region 2— including UFCW Locals 23, 27, 400, and 1776— joined together with UFCW Local 1208 member organizers for a coordinated worker outreach to Mountaire Farms workers who are fighting for a voice on the job.
The week-long house visits and worker mobilization resulted in hundreds of worker contacts and culminated with a well-attended general worker meeting in Fayetteville, N.C., where many UFCW members from the Smithfield pork processing facility in neighboring Tar Heel, N.C., shared experiences with workers at Mountaire’s Lumber Bridge, N.C., chicken processing plant.
“I know many of you may be scared but nothing is going to change if you don’t speak up,” said Lydia Victoria, a Smithfield worker who witnessed the fight for a union voice at her plant. “I was also scared when we were trying to form our union but I found strength in my co-workers. Now, we are able to continuously improve our working conditions because when we face our managers and Smithfield we are not alone.”
In addition to Smithfield workers, the Mountaire workers also heard powerful testimonies from UFCW Local 27 Mountaire workers about having a union voice on the job.
“Things can be different for us at Mountaire if we stand up,” said Ricardo Rivera who has worked at Mountaire Farms for the past seven years and suffered three injuries on the job. “Safety is important to me because I want to be healthy so I can continue to provide for my four kids.”