Hormel workers ratify new contract with 65 percent in favor, averting strike

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2003

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) &045; Union workers at Hormel Foods Corp. ratified a new four-year contract Wednesday that will increase their pension benefits and pay while making health care more expensive.

It will also avoid a repeat of the 1985-86 strike that saw Gov. Rudy Perpich send National Guard troops to Austin to keep the peace.

The United Food & Commercial Workers announced Wednesday that the new contract was approved by 65 percent of those voting. Details of the deal were not immediately available.

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The contract covers more than 3,000 workers at Hormel Foods facilities in Beloit, Wis.; Fremont, Neb.; Atlanta, Ga.; Algona, Iowa, and the flagship plant at Austin.

&uot;We feel happy that we reached an agreement without requiring a work action,&uot; said Jill Cashen, a UFCW spokeswoman.