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|Smithfield Violates Workers' Right to Organize|
On December 15, 2000, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge found Smithfield committed multiple labor law violations during Smithfield workers' organizing efforts in 1994 and 1997.The charges included:
Sherri Buffkin, a former manager at the Tar Heel plant, was fired after she told company attorneys she would not lie for them at an NLRB hearing. Buffkin testified before Congress that the attorneys and her managers ordered her to engage in various activities to prevent workers from supporting the union, including forcing overtime work on those she identified as pro-union, and firing workers for "insubordination" if they refused.1 "Too many days I'd come home from work crying, and my daughter would ask, 'Mommy, who did you have to fire today?'" described Buffkin.Additional Resources
For an in-depth analysis of how the law has failed the Tar Heel Smithfield workers, see Human Rights Watch's report, Unfair Advantage: Workers' Freedom of Association in the United States Under International Human Rights Standards.
1. Buffkin, Sherri. Testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, June 20, 2002.
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American Rights at Work is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers.