On May 31, more than 80 UFCW Local 1208 members showed up to begin a three-day steward training. The training attracted 35 new stewards ranging in age, work experience, and language, signaling a new day for workers at the Smithfield plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina.
“A long time ago I worked in Mexico and I worked in a union. It was beautiful,” said Pablo Bautista Quintero via translation. “Here, it is also a brotherhood. People cross departments to join together. A union makes us stronger.”
Over the course of the training, stewards role-played and assessed real concerns on the floor, including extensive health and safety training.
“I was on the lines and going door-to-door to help get a union voice,” said Calvin Chesney. “I became a steward to get justice.”