RICHMOND, Va. — Smithfield Foods and the United Food and Commercial Workers announced yesterday a pre-trial settlement related to the union’s campaign to organize workers at Smithfield’s Tar Heel, N.C., pork plant. The two sides agreed to terms that will permit the plant’s almost 5,000 employees to vote on whether to join the union, according to published reports. No date was given for the election. As a result of the agreement, the UFCW announced an end to its public campaign against Smithfield, and both parties agreed to establish and jointly fund a “Feed the Hungry” program. Smithfield filed the lawsuit against the UFCW in October 2007, alleging the union initiated a campaign to force the company to recognize the union as the sole representative of hourly employees at the plant.
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