May 21, 2010 Volume 111 Number 10

Laborers take BrucePac dispute to next stage

Laborers Local 296 is getting ready to take its BrucePac campaign to the next stage.

Nonunion BrucePac — a custom cooked meat processor with plants in Silverton and Woodburn — Oregon, fired 17 union supporters in a 42-worker mass layoff last June, just weeks after a union campaign had begun.

In April, federal Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke found the evidence persuasive enough in three of the firings to conclude that BrucePac terminated the workers because they were union supporters, in violation of federal labor law. Parke ordered the three reinstated with backpay, but the company has not yet done so. BrucePac attorneys requested and received an extension to May 27 to prepare an appeal of the judge’s decision to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

Now Local 296 is taking the campaign to BrucePac customers. BrucePac doesn’t sell directly to the public, but instead cooks and packages meat and poultry according to to the recipes and specifications of its customers.

On May 6, Business Representative Jack Roy sent a letter to Figaro’s Pizza, Taco Del Mar, Taco Bell, Costco, and Winco asking them to reconsider using BrucePac products.

The letter points out that the union campaign was initiated by the workers, “who came to the union and complained about oppressive working conditions, harassment by supervisors, low wages and lack of benefits.”

Local 296 will begin publicizing its dispute with BrucePac, the letter warns.

“The public will be advised of the illegal conduct of BrucePac, and will be advised that your company is a customer of BrucePac and uses its products.”

Local 296 dispatcher Dagoberto Aranda said the union is not yet calling for a boycott of the BrucePac customers, but will encourage union supporters to contact the companies. As for BrucePac, the union is asking only that it obey the law, and comply with the judge’s order.

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.