In late December 2020, Valley Proteins agreed to settle unfair labor practice charges filed by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, (UE) Union. The agreement requires Valley Proteins to post a notice stating that the NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT gives employees the right to:
- Form, join, or assist a union;
- Choose a representative to bargain with us on your behalf [TO CHOOSE OUR OWN UNION];
- Act together with other employees for your benefit and protection;
The Notice must further state that Valley Proteins:
- WILL NOT interfere with, restrain, or coerce you in the exercise of [your rights];
The posting is currently up in the Fayetteville and Lewiston VP plants.
Meatpacking workers at the Valley Proteins, Inc. plants across North Carolina have been organizing for almost 9 months, throughout the pandemic demanding better COVID-19 safety protections, including PPE, hazard pay, along with other measures to ensure safety and job security.
Many employers were emboldened under the anti-union Trump administration to violate workers rights, including not providing necessary workplace COVID-19 protections. NC Department of Labor Commission Cherri Berry refused to do in plant inspections after Occupational Safety and Health Administration complaints were filed by meatpacking workers in dozens of plants. The U.E. Local 150 union, along with other labor groups, have already sent a letter of recommendations to the newly elected NCDOL Commissioner Josh Dobson. With the recent NLRB ruling and the election of the Biden-Harris administration, which is more union friendly, Valley Protein workers are taking advantage of the new atmosphere to organize themselves for improvements on the job including through direct bargaining with their employer, as well as participating in larger political campaigns.
“We are deeply concerned about the unhealthy conditions we are working under,” stated Valley Proteins Raw Materials Truck Driver Herman Purvis. He continued, “We are sharing trucks. Many drivers are going out with COVID-19. They are constantly making us work long hours. We are not getting hazard pay for all that we are doing working amid this pandemic. Without a union, our voices are not being heard. We need a union to help push the company. It goes in one ear out the other, it doesn’t work. We as individuals don’t have power. We must organize as a union, as a group, to be able to bargain directly with the company for safety protections we need. I can’t afford to contract COVID-19 and take it home to my wife, who is a breast cancer survivor, whose immune system is compromised.”
We encourage all Valley Protein workers to join the union today!
For more information, workers can email us at organizeUE150@ueunion.org or call Herman Purvis, Raw Materials Truck Driver at Valley Protein at 252-325-4347