June 4, 2010 Volume 111 Number 11

BrucePac appeals order to reinstate fired union supporters

Three BrucePac workers — fired because they wanted to join Laborers Local 296 — may have to wait longer to get their jobs back.

BrucePac, a nonunion cooked meat processor with plants in Silverton and Woodburn, Oregon, was ordered in April by a federal administrative law judge to reinstate the three workers, and pay back wages dating to their terminations. Manuel Coria, Jose Carmen Maciel, and Daniel Luna were among 17 pro-union workers let go in a June 2009 mass layoff of 42.

But BrucePac, represented by anti-union law firm Jackson Lewis, last month filed an appeal to the judge’s ruling, which will be taken up by the five-member National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

“We’re disappointed they weren’t willing to follow the judges decision,” said Local 296 dispatcher Dagoberto Aranda. “They broke the law. They should set it right.”

Currently, two of the Board seats are vacant, and the Board has a heavy backlog of cases, so the appeal could delay resolution of the case for years.

Meanwhile, BrucePac has continued to campaign against the union, and last week held anti-union meetings at both locations on every shift. Workers are being given anti-union buttons to wear. Managers and supervisors were reportedly very agitated at the meetings, yelling and accusing Local 296 of trying to hurt BrucePac’s business. Local 296 has begun writing letters to BrucePac’s business customers, informing them of the labor rights abuses, and asking them to reconsider doing business with the company. On May 6, letters went out to Figaro’s Pizza, Taco Del Mar, Taco Bell, Costco, and Winco. Several weeks later, a second batch of letters went out to other BrucePac customers, including Taco Time and Safeway.

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