Alleges employees forced to attend meetings without coronavirus protections, exclusion of union representatives from meetings and surveillance of employees on Facebook

United Food & Commercial Workers Local 27 has filed federal charges against Mountaire Farms for unfair labor practices. UFCW represents 1,000 employees there.

The charges allege that Mountaire Farms management violated federal labor law by (1) forcing workers represented by the union to attend captive employee meetings conducted without regard to CDC social distancing guidelines, (2) excluding a union shop steward from a COVID-related plant complex site visit and meeting conducted by agents of the CDC and the Delaware State Health Department and (3) engaging in surveillance of a Facebook group maintained to promote acts of mutual aid and protection.

“We have dealt with Mountaire for many years and the company makes no secret that it is ideologically opposed to its employees exercising their union rights as guaranteed under federal law,” said UFCW Local 27 President Jason Chorpenning.

“Over the past few months, in the midst of an unprecedented and life-threatening pandemic, our members have been subjected to anti-union propaganda from highly paid outside consultants aimed at eliminating union protections for Mountaire employees. In addition, the company has surveilled employees on social media, excluded union stewards and other officials from meetings and otherwise attempted to put a chilling effect on outspoken workers. Despite the company’s resistance, we are committed to serving our members and protecting their ability to exercise their rights under the law.”

This is the third charge filed against Mountaire by the union in the past few months. In March, the union filed a complaint against the company for allegedly denying union officials access to the plant while granting unabated access to other parties. The union filed another charge against Mountaire in April when the company allegedly failed to furnish information requested by the union as required under federal law and for granting special privileges to employees campaigning against the union in the plant.