A racially mixed workforce in an Alabama poultry plant defeated management’s attempts to exploit their diversity, turning aside the divide-and-conquer tactics and voting in the union.
Scoring the largest union victory in the right-to-work state of Alabama in a decade, 1,200 Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant workers voted union overwhelmingly June 12 in the small town of Russellville.
The workers, who are 20 percent Latino, 40 percent black, and 40 percent white, voted 706-292 to join the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, a division of the Food and Commercial Workers. The victory comes after three previous attempts by UFCW.
RWDSU organizer Randy Hadley said the company used “the language barrier to divide the Latino Spanish speakers from the white and black English speakers. Threatening folks with plant closings, firings, telling one group of workers one thing and another group something completely different.”
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