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Hormel Hogtied!!

The picket lines were abandoned as the victorious members of UFCW 1540 filled the local VFW park to celebrate their new contract!
After 23 days on strike, workers gathered to evaluate a new contract offered by Rochelle Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel. Workers liked what they heard. The new contract included a $1.40 pay increase over 5 years as well as an improved insurance plan. A 99% vote for the new contract punctuated their victory.

Thanks to all who contacted Hormel and Rochelle Foods to express your support for the strikers and to those who helped to get the word out!

Read the UFCW press release below.

April 9, 2001 Contact: Greg Denier at (202) 466-1591, Jill Cashen at (202) 728-4797 or email press (at)

Rochelle Food Workers Ratify New Contract
Worker Solidarity Brings an End to Strike

Workers at Rochelle Foods stuck together to secure a better future for themselves and their families. On Sunday April 8, 2001, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1540 ratified a new contract and brought an end to the work action that began on March 16th.

The new agreement is good for everyone-and includes a good wage increase and improved benefits for the more than 900 workers at the Hormel-owned pork processing plant.

"Packinghouse workers across the country can look to the Rochelle workers as role models for solidarity, courage and commitment. Because these 900 workers stood together, they made their voice heard and won a good contract that will mean a better future for all the working families at Rochelle Foods," said Bill Schmitz, UFCW International Vice President and Packinghouse Director.

The Rochelle workers were not alone in their struggle. UFCW local unions contributed more than $125,000 to assist with strike benefits, food banks and the worker hardship fund. Support from UFCW local unions and the broader community boosted spirits, motivated the striking workers and kept food on the tables for the striking families during their three weeks on the picket line.

"On behalf of the UFCW Local 1540 members, I would like to thank all the unions, people of faith and other community members who aided the workers' struggle for a fair contract," said Schmitz.



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