Union workers at the Foster Farms plant in Compton, California, are considering a strike after rejecting the most recent contract proposal from the company.
The workers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 630, are presently working under an extension of the contract which expired on June 14. That extension agreement can be terminated by either party with seven days’ notice, according to a report from NBC Los Angeles.
Foster Farms issued the following statement concerning the situation: "Foster Farms has been negotiating a multi-year employee contract with the Teamsters 630 union for its Compton, California, frozen food plant. The negotiations have been conducted in good faith, but the Teamsters rejected Foster Farms' most recent offer, which includes competitive pay increases and a comprehensive benefits package.
"Foster Farms has a long history of successfully negotiating mutually beneficial contracts with labor unions at all of our represented facilities. With the assistance of a federal mediator, Foster Farms will continue to negotiate in good faith with Teamsters 630 and looks forward to a timely and amicable contract agreement."
Union representative Oscar Ruiz told NBC Los Angeles the central issue at hand is medical costs, adding that the contract proposed by Foster Farms “would shift thousands of dollars of health care costs” to be the responsibility of the workers.
Foster Farms, headquartered in Livingston, California, is the 11th largest broiler producer in the United States and the country’s 13th largest turkey producer. In 2020, the company processed 28.02 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis, according to the WATTPoultry.com Top Companies Database. The company also slaughtered 213 million pounds of live turkeys in 2020.