Processing Magazine

National Beef workers to vote on unionizing

December 3, 2009
The National Labor Relations Board said workers at the National Beef meatpacking plant in Dodge City would vote soon on whether to unionize, reports the Associated Press. If approved, the union would represent about 2,200 mostly production and maintenance workers. National Beef issued an e-mail statement, saying employees have the right to vote on whether to unionize and the vote will be "conducted by a neutral federal government agency, the NLRB." The last time a large slaughterhouse in western Kansas tried to unionize was in 2007 at Tyson Foods Inc.''s Holcomb plant. Workers there rejected the United Steelworkers by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. One example of the difference between union and nonunion plants is the pace of the work at the two in Dodge City. Faster line speeds are often associated with higher injury rates. National Beef said it follows U.S. Department of Agriculture standards regarding the pace of work.