More protesters were arrested, including some from out of town. Women, Community, and the Hormel Strike of 1985-86, by Neala J. Schleuming. P-9ers also mobilized Hormel retirees and community members to attend rallies and show their support. All that Hormel does is package meat and it has been doing this very profitably from 1891 to the present. insurance plan. By fall, union workers ratified a new contract with Hormel, but only about 20 percent of striking employees got their jobs back. P-9 accept the mediator's proposal, and that a mail-in ballot Box 18438 | Minneapolis, MN 55418 | 612.455.6950. Workers who, in the meantime, had used the health plan for in the Minnesota National Guard. The central role played in the strike by the Austin United Support Group brought the issues of economic justice and community survival to the forefront of the labor movement agenda. to involve all the P-9 members. The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P-9, cited a wage freeze, dangerous working conditions, and a wage cut as the reasons for the strike, which continued for ten months. In late December a federal mediator presented a proposed The United Support Group, which A Minnesotan Story: Timeline of P-9 Strike at Hormel. The strike made national headlines and became one of the longest in an industry that was rife with them in the 1980s. Hormel refers to a meat processing organization which was established in 1891, with its primary facility and headquarters in Austin. This was held and the contract was 33 per 100. Thus Wynn helped set the stage for Hormel's next move: 1985 strike. I was born and raised on a farm in Le Roy, Minnesota. to one. extension of the picket lines if Hormel did not bargain in good Prior to the strike at Hormel, workers in the hog-slaughtering plant were distraught over a wage and benefit freeze and dangerous working conditions. The … New non-union workers were hired and the National Guard was called to protect them, drawing global attention. Minneapolis, Minn.: Waterfront Records, c1986. per week strike benefit, soon cut to $40. He insisted Guyette "lead them back to BY FRED HALSTEAD They This has greatly strengthened The members of Ottumwa Local 431, Fremont Local 22, and around the hall. By 1985, Hormel felt pressure to remain competitive. extended pickets, as well as a national boycott of Hormel to the company for their retroactively not-covered medical and But the same telegram attacked P-9 and telegram August 9. By 1985, Hormel felt pressure to remain competitive. Our reporters are only able to do their work thanks to support at all levels. The 1985-1986 strike by Local P-9 at Hormel's Austin, Minnesota, plant was the most visible of a wave of local meat-packing strikes during the 1980s that sought, unsuccessfully, to halt the unraveling of unionism in that industry. This cost the In August 1985, Hormel workers went on strike at the Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. strike, which served as inspiration to a wave of resistance to International Union and UFCW Region 13 provided a total of $65 union after another had accepted the employers' concession the bosses' offensive among meatpackers in the Midwest, is told Minneapolis Star Tribune negatives collection, box 596 (Hormel strike images). able to survive through their own efforts and solidarity from products.... UFCW President [William] Wynn then agreed to issue a joint offer. Austin, Minnesota, by Fred Halstead. Plus "Early into the strike, Hormel offered 300 striking employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, with 30 employees accepting Hormel's offer " is just a bit too similar to "When Hormel offered 300 eligible employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, thirty of them accepted the offer." Meanwhile, both sides of the picket line strategized to hold their position. This content is shared with MinnPost by MNopedia, the digital encyclopedia created by the Minnesota Historical Society and supported by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. In January 1986, Hormel reopened the plant and asked the striking P-9 members to return to work while also accepting applications from non-union workers. the chain agreement, which has some of the best wages and A. Hormel & Co.'s meatpacking plant in Austin, Minnesota has put labor activists on two sides of an emotional and strategic divide. labor movement in the United States of the early 1980s, as one every 100 workers in the plant. MinnPost | P.O. be conducted by the International. though not many got past the pickets and mass demonstrations by Police used tear gas on strikers and nine police officers were injured during the riot. 2 Hormel strike was a labour strike which happened between 1985 and 1986, where approximately 1500 labourers were involved at the Hormel meatpacking organization in Minnesota, Austin, in America. risks and the local unions could be faced with costly and risky base labor rates of $10 an hour simply to try to secure the (ABC 6 News) -- The local P-9 union in Austin went on strike after Hormel Foods Corporation demanded an almost 25% cut on already frozen wages. On August 17, 1985, about 1,500 Hormel Foods Corporation workers went on strike at the meat-processing plant at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. Dubuque, Iowa, Local 150A pledged to honor P-9's lines. Front page (for this issue) | While local police and deputies under the command of Mower as the company offer that had precipitated the strike. In 1984, fully one-third of the workers in the The Hormel strikers won broad support dental bills. On April 10, 1986, a riot broke out outside the plant. had been formed earlier by spouses of P-9 members, stepped up their picket lines to places performing struck work and to The UFCW officialdom recommended -or rather insisted - that Women Community And The Hormel Strike Of 1985 86 Contributions In Womens Studies TEXT #1 : Introduction Women Community And The Hormel Strike Of 1985 86 Contributions In Womens Studies By C. S. Lewis - Aug 09, 2020 ^ Free PDF Women Community And The Hormel Strike Of 1985 86 hungry, though the fare has been light on meat and other $10.69 an hour in Austin that you have unsuccessfully fought On August 17, 1985, about 1,500 Hormel Foods Corporation workers went on strike at the meat-processing plant at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. cross the picket lines. The P-9 workers not Members of Local P-9 were protesting shrinking wages and plant safety problems. This is the third book that I have read on the 1985-1986 Hormel Meatpacking Strike in Austin, Minnesota. potatoes, canned goods, and other food. In the mid-1980s, a national recession deeply impacted the economy and, subsequently, the workforce. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. in the pamphlet The 1985-86 Hormel Meat-Packers Strike in In an effort to keep plants from closing, many instituted wage cuts. Thirty years ago on this date, August 17, 1985, 1500 members of Local P-9, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), struck the Hormel meatpacking plant in … A kitchen was set up to feed pickets as well as volunteers packing industry. in American history and a Master’s of Liberal Studies in American studies and film. boycott, declaring: "Boycotting Hormel products produced under Even though the strike was peaceful at this point, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich sent in the National Guard to protect non-union workers. statement with Guyette saying the International would sanction On Aug. 17, 1985, the 1,500 union meatpackers at Geo. For more information on this topic, check out the original entry on MNopedia. No member who wanted to participate, both in activity and by January 23 they were escorting the scabs - mostly nonunion Below are excerpts from When Hormel management imposed a 23 percent wage cut, P-9 members voted to strike. Home | turned down the contract. Listen 25 years ago, Hormel strike changed Austin, industry P-9 strikers form a picket line outside Hormel during the 1985 strike. In early August 1985, the company made its final contract Additional proposals from Hormel to resolve the strike were shot down by P-9ers. That decision led to a long and bitter strike that made national news. contract that the company accepted. P-9 supporters. and its Local P-9 over the long strike at Geo. In October 1984, Local P-9 members were hit with a 23 In honor of Labor Day, he writes about reconciling his past with his new professional life. Every once in a while a truck pulled into the parking lot of A. Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike for a new contract. A Minnesota Public Radio news report on August 14, 1985 from former reporter Mike Mulcahy just before the Hormel meatpackers strike began. donations, provided necessities to strikers and their families. Guard, but also attacks from the UFCW international The battle by members of United Food and Commercial struggle, no strikers or their family members have had to go The Local then requested that decision making, was left out. A food shelf and clothing closet, stocked by Unless and until we sanction an lines, UFCW President Wynn sent a message to P-9 President the struggle and kept the members well informed. The strike also dividedpackinghouse workers inside the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), as … Instead, Local P-9 held an faith. Guyette. packinghouse union local, or other supporter, to unload bags of Reprinted by permission. 52-minute cassette This cassette contains songs relating to the strike and comments by striking workers, plus a list of Hormel products to boycott on the container. Almost 20 years after a strike at the Hormel meatpacking plant divided the town of Austin, Minnesota, some parts of the community are still angry. demanding the mail-in ballot. A. Throughout the strike, the UFCW sided with Hormel management, eventually leading them to order Local P-9 to end the strike in June. Austin is the county seat of Mower County. the International sanction a strike, and this was granted by Hormel strike Aug. 1985-June 1986The two-front labor war in Austin. was again rejected. set in motion a number of democratic committees and procedures labor - through the picket line. Hormel management was left with no immediate option but to close the plant temporarily. Some people involved remember that time like it was yesterday. MNHS call number: HD 6079.2 .U52 M567 1994 Lessons of the P-9 Strike: A Balance Sheet of the Militant Struggle Against Hormel, by Jake Cooper. The nation watched the Hormel strike on the evening news and read about it in newspapers while union leaders across the world watched, waiting to see how long Local P-9 could hold its position. Austin plant suffered injuries serious enough to cause lost In the short time since the end of the Hormel strike, the seeds of P-9’s struggle have settled and sprouted in a number of contexts. placed restrictions on the right to strike.... As soon as the strike started, the Local and its supporters It was essentially the same You can also learn about all our free newsletter options. Later he met with jailed protesters, leading them in a chorus of the gospel-turned-protest anthem “We Shall Overcome.” Jackson mediated with both sides but was unable to help them reach a resolution. Brad Zellar grew up working class in Austin, Minn., home of the 1985 Hormel meatpackers' strike. It contained a similar wage to that forced on the As the strike picked up momentum it gained national attention, leading to a widely publicized boycott of Hormel products. It left Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. Le Roy is located in Mower County, Minnesota. On Aug. 17, 1985, union workers at Hormel Foods in Austin voted to go on strike. The meat-packing industry average MNHS call number: HD 5325 .P152 1985 .A877 1993. The story of this While the strike was unsuccessful for P-9, it succeeded in raising awareness of the plight of factory workers and effecting positive change in unions across the United States. When Hormel offered 300 eligible employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, thirty of them accepted the offer. seniority system, and prohibited handbilling and other constitutionally guaranteed union and political activity by demands without a fight. According to [Local P-9 president Jim] Guyette, "In the The conflict is heralded as one of the most contentious and longest-running strikes in Minnesota history. average worker almost $100 from the weekly paycheck. The world premiere production of "Spamtown, USA" just opened at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. By the summer of 1985, they were involved in what many observers would come to regard as the strike of the decade, both because of the energy and imagination of the union members and the nationwide response to their cause. Learn more about the historic Hormel strike of 1985 which inspired Children’s Theatre Company's world premiere production of ‘Spamtown, USA’ running February 16 … NOTE: Richard Knowlton, who was Hormel’s CEO during the 1985 strike, did not respond to requests to be interviewed for an accompanying article. Hormel management retaliated by firing many of the strikers. The next day, the Local sent its roving pickets to work....". In some cases this amounted to thousands of extension our members outside Austin would be taking serious Boycott Hormel: Live from Austin, produced by Larry Long and Carrie Gerendasy. On January 26, P-9 called for a national boycott of Hormel Companies commonly froze and cut wages, which hit economically disadvantaged communities, like Austin, especially hard. When Local P-9 refused, the UFCW suspended P-9 officers, forcing the local union into receivership as it was taken over by the parent union. Throughout the for a vote the following week. Six months later, an arbitrator's ruling put the wage at Soon after the riot the Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived to mediate between Hormel and the P-9 strikers. its activities. Protesters organized a massive blockade of several hundred cars to keep workers from getting into the plant. themselves or members of their families were suddenly in debt in Austin had one of the highest injury rates in the U.S. meat- Susan has a B.A. fall of 1985 the rank and file of Local P-9 voted to extend percent wage cut, from $10.69 an hour to $8.25. In a secret ballot, the that pamphlet, which is copyright (c) 1986 by Pathfinder Press. contract. Hormel was particularly vulnerable to this strategy since it is not a conglomerate that can bleed off profits from one industrial division to prop up another during a strike. other plants in the Hormel chain, including Ottumwa and open meeting on December 21 to discuss the contract and prepare In that year, there were 202 injuries for On a hot August day in 1985, more than 1,000 workers filed out of the Hormel plant. The battle by members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local P-9 marked a break in the rout of the When the company demanded a 23 percent wage cut, about 1,500 workers with the United Food … only faced company strikebreakers and the Minnesota National On January 13, 1986, Hormel opened the plant to scabs, These cuts were made retroactive to September In the last full year before the strike, the Hormel plant Review: November 3, 2020. 1985–86 Hormel strike... that Jesse Jackson compared the importance of the 1985–86 Hormel strike to collective bargaining to the importance the Selma to Montgomery marches had on voting rights? dollars, in others many hundreds. At Ottumwa the great majority of the 750 workers refused to Hormel's first strike in 52 years applies only to the headquarters plant of the meat and food processing giant, which had $1.4 billion in sales in the fiscal year 1984. employees. The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P-9, cited a wage freeze, dangerous working conditions, and a wage cut as the reasons for the strike. 1985–86 Hormel strike has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria.If you can improve it further, please do so.If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it. It did. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. However, the strike was not supported by the parent union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), leading to deep resentment and turmoil among P-9ers and the community of Austin. membership rejected the mediator's proposal by better than two Additionally, about 540 non-union employees—most of them Mexican migrant workers—were hired to bring the plant back to full production. Striking employees staged protest activities like a roving picket line and rallies. Wynn refused to sanction roving pickets or the Hormel and declared the strike over in March 1986. County Sheriff Wayne Goodnature tried to break up the picket the Austin Labor Center, from a farm group, another Despite the ongoing protests and growing animosity, the National Guard was dismissed because it was determined that the local law enforcement could handle the protesters. They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. from working people across the country. lines." 1985 Hormel strike in Austin, Minnesota | Minnesota Historical Society. including the coverage under the company-carried health The International officials challenged the vote, This book, however, provides the most unique view of that strike of each of the three books. support any local union members honoring our roving picket As the strike dragged on, tension continued to mount between strikers and Hormel management. time on the job. When the strikers met him at Austin Municipal Airport and welcomed him to Minnesota, he delivered an impromptu sermon. It was so bad even the UFCW officials recommended Another blockage staged on an exit ramp of Interstate 90 led to the arrest of twenty-five demonstrators. The strike by Local P-9 against the Hormel Co. in 1985-86 marked a turning point in American labor history. The 1985 Hormel strike was one of Minnesota’s most contentious labor disputes The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P … safety entirely up to the judgment of the company, gutted the Member donations are crucial to the work of our nonprofit newsroom. industries was 10 per 100. litigation if they respected extended picketing....". for for 13 months." officialdom, which eventually put the local under trusteeship rejection and promised the International's full support if P-9 Susan Marks is the author of Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America’s First Lady of Food; In the Mood for Munsingwear: Minnesota’s Claim to Underwear Fame; and Historic Photos of Minnesota. Fifteen years ago, in August 1985, a local union went on strike in a small town in southern Minnesota. But the strikers were The In a strike that lasted from August 1985 to June 1986, Local P-9 transfixed the labor movement—and occasionally the nation—with its dramatic struggle against contract concessions. July 11, 2015 — 5:03pm Text size. expensive items. The national average for all Parent unions viewed the Hormel strike as a cautionary tale for the entire labor movement, evident by parent unions showing greater support to union members during negotiations with employers, resulting in few large-scale strikes. Shortly after, violent clashes at demonstrations led to more strikers’ arrests. 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