Union Victory: Iowa Hormel Plant Workers Secure Historic Contract

In a significant win for labor, employees at the Hormel plant in Knoxville, Iowa, have ratified a groundbreaking four-year contract with the company. Represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, approximately 200 workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new agreement.

Under the terms of the contract, union members will see a substantial increase in wages, with a $4 per hour raise distributed over the duration of the agreement. Additionally, the contract includes comprehensive healthcare coverage, improvements to both pension and 401K benefits, and nearly double the amount of bereavement leave compared to the previous contract.

This wage increase marks the largest pay raise in the history of the Knoxville plant, signaling a significant victory for the workers. The decision to approve the new contract follows the rejection of Hormel’s initial offer by the union last month. Negotiations continued, with the former contract extended until April 5 to allow for further discussions between the parties.

In response to the ratified agreement, Hormel, headquartered in Austin, Minnesota, expressed satisfaction, acknowledging the efforts of both negotiating teams in reaching a resolution. The company released a statement last week, prior to the final approval by the union, affirming their commitment to the bargaining process.

The Hormel plant in Knoxville is a key production facility, churning out 1 million pounds of dry sausage weekly for retail and foodservice markets. Its product lineup includes popular items such as Homeland hard salami, Rosa Grande pepperoni, and Hormel Pillow Pack pepperoni.