Smithfield workers approve union contract at Sioux Falls meat plant

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(AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — On Friday, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 304A announced they’ve reached a new agreement with Smithfield for workers at the Sioux Falls plant. UFCW 304A represents nearly 3,000 South Dakotan food workers.

The union and its members successfully negotiated for pay increases and expanded benefits, representing a strong investment in workers essential to the nations food supply chain.

“Today’s new contract for Smithfield meatpacking workers in Sioux Falls provides the strong pay and benefits that these brave men and women have earned on the frontlines of this pandemic. In the past year, these South Dakota essential workers put their own health at risk every day to keep our food supply secure,” said UFCW Local 304A President B.J. Motley in a statement.

Virginia-based Smithfield Foods closed the pork processing plant in April 2020 after dozens of employees tested positive for coronavirus.

Four Smithfield workers died from COVID-19, while another 1,300 were infected.

In September 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Smithfield for failing to protect employees from exposure to COVID-19.

Categories: Coronavirus, South Dakota News