The National Labor Relations Board has ordered the OK Foods plant in Heavener, Okla., to set the May 1 election aside and schedule a re-run election to vote on forming a union, according to a news release on Monday (June 23).
The maintenance and refrigeration workers had previously voted to not form a union, but the board found that OK Foods management and its agents repeatedly violated the National Labor Relations Act and denied workers a free and fair election, the release states.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1,000 strongly endorses the board’s finding that OK Foods managers and supervisors committed multiple unfair labor practices, according to the release.
“We want these workers to get a fair chance to have their voices heard. OK Foods has to rely on lies, threats, and coercion to scare these workers away from forming a union. In reality, forming a union will help protect them from a company that obviously has no respect for them whatsoever. I’m excited that these workers are being given a chance to vote again,” said UFCW Local 1,000 President Ricky Burris.
UFCW Local 1,000 has been organizing with OK Foods workers since Dec., 2013. The workers approached UFCW with complaints of low wages, expensive healthcare benefits and unfair and unequal treatment at OK Foods chicken processing plant in Heavener, the release states.
UFCW Local 1,000 represents almost 10,000 workers across Oklahoma and North Texas including people who work at grocery stores, food production facilities, barber shops, and other commercial enterprises, according to the release.