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JBS, union reach tentative labor agreement to avert strike

By Greeley Tribune, Colo.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 19--JBS USA and the 3,000 workers at the Greeley beef represented by the United Food Commercial Workers Local 7 have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if it's approved by the union's membership later this month, will avert a strike at the plant.

Union officials announced the agreement in a news release on Friday. The deal, which was reached on Thursday after 11 months of negotiations grants a number guarantees to workers, the union said in the news release.

It includes:

--An hourly pay increase of $1.80 over the five-year term of the agreement.

--The 60-cents per hour increase on the first year will be paid retroactively to the original contract expiration date of the contract, Sept. 29, 2013.

--Affordable health insurance which is guaranteed for the life of the contract.

--Additional grade increases for 21 specific jobs.

--Funeral and bereavement leave which will now allow time off with pay for grieving, and adds aunts, uncles and grandparents to the list of immediate family members.

--Plantwide seniority for job bidding.

--An improved safety committee.

--Vacation scheduling language that guarantees seniority rights.

--Separate vacation payments.

--Benefits and guarantees in case of plant closing or shift elimination.

--A joint labor-management committee to improve workforce issues, worker's compensation, immigration issues, child care and crewing standards.

--The right to opt out of direct deposit and electronic payment systems.

"This contract brings justice to UFCW Local 7 workers and their families," the release stated. "It is a hard-fought and well-deserved victory."

The tentative agreement has been fully recommended by the entire bargaining committee and is scheduled for a ratification vote on Tuesday, the release stated.

"We are pleased that negotiations have progressed in a positive direction and look forward to finalizing the agreement in the very near future," Cameron Bruett of JBS USA said in an email. "It is great news for our JBS Greeley beef team members and for the entire Greeley community."

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(c)2014 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)

Visit the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) at www.greeleytribune.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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