Smithfield’s first union contract, at a Tar Heel plant, may pay unexpected dividends

Achoo, swine flu!!!: The newly unionized workforce at Smithfield Foods’ pork plant in Tar Heel, N.C., just signed its first labor contract, and the industry is watching closely to see if union fever spreads. This little sentence leapt out at us: "Under the pre-union system, an employee received demerit points for calling in sick; the new contract includes a provision for official sick leave." Yeah, because what this country really wants is sick people reporting to their food-handling jobs. (Meatpoultry.com)

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