California Foster Farms Teamsters Vote To Reject Contract Offer; Prepare for strike
Wealthy Foster Farms Family Seeks to Bankrupt Latin American and Black Poultry Workers with Exorbitant Health Costs
COMPTON, Calif., July 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Nearly 250 workers at Foster Farms represented by Teamsters Local 630 voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to reject the company’s most recent contract offer and allow a strike against one of the largest poultry producers on the west coast. Members’ contract with Foster Farms expired on June 14, 2020, and they are currently working under an extension agreement which can be terminated on seven days’ notice by either party.
Workers in production, sanitation, warehouses and maintenance, about 70% of whom are Latin and black women, voted almost unanimously against a contract proposal that would put them in the thousands of dollars. health costs. Additionally, most workers are not paid more than the state’s minimum wage, and Foster Farms has been charged with violating federal labor laws for refusing to provide his Compton with contractually binding retroactive salary increases.
The Compton Foster Farms facility manufactures Mexican-style poultry products for a range of retailers including Costco, Chick Fil-A, Burger King, Walmart, Sysco Corporation and Smart & Final Supermarkets, as well as public school systems and establishments correctional everywhere California.
“Foster Farms makes billions every year; it is the hard work of our members that makes the Foster family so rich, ”said Lou Villalvázo, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 630. “It’s outrageous the way the Foster family treats their frontline employees. Many of them are women of color with families and young children who have worked there faithfully for 20 or 30 years. It is also unacceptable that Foster Farms is trying to force workers to agree to a health care plan that could easily bankrupt their families. It is our neighbors and community members who have come to work throughout the pandemic to feed Californians. “
Foster Farms’ current healthcare proposal would increase medical costs by several thousand dollars a year. For example, workers would be forced to pay 20 percent of medical expenses frequently used by women with families, such as labor and delivery, emergency room visits, and mental health services. Additionally, the company refused to accept a healthcare proposal made by Local 630 that would save Foster Farms nearly $ 500,000 the first year and at least $ 1.5 million over the term of the contract.
“We have put ourselves and our loved ones at risk throughout the pandemic to help Foster Farms,” said Leticia Rosales, 30-year-old employee at the Compton establishment. “At least ninety of my coworkers have contracted COVID-19 and now Foster Farms is telling us that we must agree to a health care plan that would result in our take-home pay being even lower than it is now. . We can’t afford it. “
The escalation of the labor dispute in Compton may be a sign of larger workforce issues for the Foster family’s food production businesses, as well as for the food supply chain in California. Several facilities owned by the Foster family are represented by the Teamsters and other unions. These include the facilities of Crystal Creamery in Northern California and a poultry distribution center in Southern california which supplies products to grocery stores owned by Albertsons, Kroger, Costco and Walmart.
“Over the past year, as our brave brothers and sisters at Foster Farms put their lives on the line, the Fosters have reaped a profit,” said James P. Hoffa, General President of the Teamsters. “If Foster Farms is not willing to give our members a fair return on their work and honor their contributions during the pandemic, we have thousands of Teamsters across. California and the country that are ready to take up this fight. “
Founded in 1937, Teamsters Local 630 represents workers in various industries, office, warehouse, professional drivers, food service, alcoholic beverages, food processing, dairy and more. For more information, visit http://www.teamsters630.org/
Oscar Ruiz, (213) 590-7119
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SOURCE Teamsters Local 630