Union workers with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 in Austin have voted to ratify a new contract agreement with Hormel Foods.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone said in a statement that union members who work at Hormel Foods locations in Austin, plus also at three other plants in Iowa, Wisconsin and Georgia voted this week to ratify a contract that includes the largest wage increase in the company’s history. In addition to gaining hourly wage increases of $3-$6 an hour, Perrone added that the new contract also nearly doubles bereavement leave, protects healthcare coverage, and increases both pension and 401k benefits.
A tentative agreement was reached between the two sides last week, and further details were withheld until union members could be fully informed during membership-only meetings over the weekend.
Union members voted in September to reject what was termed Hormel’s final offer, as the previous four-year contract approved in 2019 first expired on September 10th. The two sides agreed to a contract extension until October 8th, and bargaining resumed the first week of this month.