Foster Farms workers in Compton ratify contract after strike

Union workers in production, sanitation, warehouse and maintenance at the Foster Farms plant in Compton, California, have ratified a contract with Teamsters Local 630 following a strike over increased health care costs.

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(Foster Farms)
(Foster Farms)
Foster Farms

Union workers in production, sanitation, warehouse and maintenance at the Foster Farms plant in Compton, California, have ratified a contract with Teamsters Local 630 following a strike over increased health care costs.

"These brave women and men never stopped working during the pandemic to keep Californians fed, and now they have a collective bargaining agreement that reflects the immeasurable value they bring to their communities as essential workers," Lou Villalvazo, Local 630 Secretary-Treasurer, said in a statement. 

"This victory illustrates that when workers come together as Teamsters and refuse to bow down to fear in the face of adversity, they can ensure that their employers give them the strong wages and good benefits they deserve."

The workers engaged in a practice picket at the Compton facility after rejecting the most recent contract proposal between the union and Foster Farms. At the time, union representative Oscar Ruiz told NBC Los Angeles the central issue at hand was 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, including labor and delivery, emergency room visits and mental health services.

Previously, the union employees worked under an extension of the contract which expired on June 14.

Teamsters Local 630 and Foster Farms were able to negotiate a deal amenable to all sides, “one that not only included good medical benefits, but also substantial wage increases,” according to a press release put out by the union.

Foster Farms issued the following statement concerning the situation: “We are pleased to have reached an equitable agreement endorsed by Teamsters Local 630 leadership and ratified by our employees."

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.

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