A contentious battle over union representation played out last summer, resulting in a victory for the union that was formally certified by the federal government. That certification came with an order for the company to negotiate with the union on the terms of a contract. Cargill has refused to comply with any of the government orders, choosing instead to appeal, claiming the election itself was procedurally flawed.
Cargill is using its appeal to the federal courts as part of its long-term strategy to snuff out enough union support to reverse the result of the election. In the interim, Cargil has stepped up its effort to cleanse its payroll of union supporters. The most recent example was the firing of long-term employee for declining to operate a piece of heavy machinery on which he had never been trained and was not familiar with. When 38-year-old Jesse Vasquez expressed his fear that operating the forklift could result in injury to himself or other workers at the site, he was suspended and later fired.
Local 324 has filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against Cargil over the Vasquez incident, but union leaders say his is just the latest in an ongoing effort by the company to chip away at union support and reverse the election results. Having shared the contents of their letter to Cargill management, CLUE members intend to keep the issue at the forefront of our ongoing conversation about the shrinking middle class.
UFCW Local 324
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SOURCE UFCW Local 324