Smithfield Foods meatpackers approve new union contract

South Dakota News

FILE – In this May 20, 2020, file photo, residents cheer and hold thank you signs to greet employees of a Smithfield pork processing plant as they begin their shift in Sioux Falls, S.D. Workers at the South Dakota meatpacking plant that became a coronavirus hotspot last year are considering a strike after contract negotiations between Smithfield Foods and the union have stalled, the union said Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The union representing workers at the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls says its members have voted in favor of a new contract.

Union leaders say the new contract sends a message to the meatpacking industry that companies need to recognize the sacrifices its employees made during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Smithfield plant was the nation’s most active hot spot for COVID-19 cases in the early weeks of the pandemic.

Nearly 1,300 workers at the Sioux Falls pork processing plant tested positive for COVID-19 and four workers died.

The new contract includes a base rate of $18.75 an hour, up from $17, and a $520 bonus.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News