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Smithfield workers ratify 4-year contract with pay increases

March 11, 2022 GMT

SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — Workers at Smithfield Foods have ratified a four-year contract with annual pay increases.

The agreement between the meat-packing giant and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 822 covers more than 1,000 workers at the Smithfield plant and was supported by 98% of union voters, The Daily Press reported. The contract provides an immediate $2-an-hour wage increase, a $2 increase during the first year and annual increases after that.

“The pandemic really illuminated issues within the meat processing industry” said James Wright, president of Teamsters Local 822. “We knew taking on the largest pork producer in the world would be challenging, but the members of the negotiating committee worked hard to get this historic contract.”

Under the new contract, senior employees get an extra week of vacation and 75 workers from a non-union facility are brought into the bargaining unit. The union also won the right to review future market rate adjustments.