Dairy Farmers Continue Year-Long Fight for Union Representation
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich., July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On February 3, 2012 workers at Dairy Farmers of America, (DFA) a milk processing plant in Adrian, Michigan voted for representation with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 876 in an effort to gain job security and a voice on the job after a two-month organizing campaign.
“Management’s mistreatment of its workforce provided the incentive needed for DFA workers to find their voices nearly 18 months ago,” Roger Robinson, UFCW 876 president, said. “And nearly a year later, the company continues to engage in stall tactics, the spread of misinformation and other strategies that have diluted workers’ efforts to protect themselves from management intimidation.”
DFA workers voted to refuse the company’s last, best and final offer on June 29, 2013; as it was clearly interpreted by workers as a retaliatory reaction to their year-long pursuit to organize. The offer fell well below existing wage levels and working conditions and would result in further financial loss to workers. The June 29 vote included a strike authorization, which is scheduled for July 15, 2013. Workers cited wanting respect, equality and accountability as reasons to vote for union representation.
“UFCW 876 is committed to the workers at DFA in Adrian, as they are representative of every worker in Michigan fighting for a decent living, fair wages and the means to provide for their families,” Robinson said. “These workers are the victims of corporate greed, fueled by the unjust, anti-worker legislation consistently being churned out in both Lansing and Washington. This fight is everyone’s fight; making DFA workers the responsibility of every Adrian citizen, labor organization and advocate to protect and safe guard this community by providing meaningful jobs and wages through responsible corporate management.”
Approximately 48,000 workers belong to UFCW Michigan, composed of Madison Heights-based UFCW 876 and Grand Rapids-based UFCW 951. UFCW Michigan members work for a variety of retailers including Meijer, Kroger and Rite Aid, along with numerous other companies in several industries including food processing, automotive supply, and health care.
SOURCE United Food and Commercial Workers Local 876