For more information on this topic, check out the original entry on MNopedia. by January 23 they were escorting the scabs - mostly nonunion able to survive through their own efforts and solidarity from the struggle and kept the members well informed. Home | Throughout the Box 18438 | Minneapolis, MN 55418 | 612.455.6950. Susan has a B.A. Austin is the county seat of Mower County. cross the picket lines. The P-9 workers not P-9 supporters see the strike, which began in August, 1985, as the labor battle of the decade, with a valiant local union taking a stand against unjust concession demands. The conflict is heralded as one of the most contentious and longest-running strikes in Minnesota history. In the early 1980s, recession impacted several meatpacking companies, increasing competition which led smaller and less-efficient companies to go out of business. every 100 workers in the plant. On January 26, P-9 called for a national boycott of Hormel Another blockage staged on an exit ramp of Interstate 90 led to the arrest of twenty-five demonstrators. That decision led to a long and bitter strike that made national news. Boycott Hormel: Live from Austin, produced by Larry Long and Carrie Gerendasy. 1985 strike. officialdom, which eventually put the local under trusteeship extended pickets, as well as a national boycott of Hormel that pamphlet, which is copyright (c) 1986 by Pathfinder Press. getting Democratic-Farmer-Labor Governor Rudy Perpich to send The UFCW officialdom recommended -or rather insisted - that No member who wanted to participate, both in activity and The action essentially ended the strike, although it did not officially end for several more months. When the company demanded a 23 percent wage cut, about 1,500 workers with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local P-9, in Austin walked off the job in August. 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. It left The Local then requested that 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. be conducted by the International. 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. statement with Guyette saying the International would sanction 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." Throughout the strike, the UFCW sided with Hormel management, eventually leading them to order Local P-9 to end the strike in June. A Minnesotan Story: Timeline of P-9 Strike at Hormel. Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. demanding the mail-in ballot. The battle by members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local P-9 marked a break in the rout of the The strike by Local P-9 against the Hormel Co. in 1985-86 marked a turning point in American labor history. In a secret ballot, the They Around 500 union members returned to Hormel, causing a divisive split in the Austin community. decision making, was left out. 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. strike, which served as inspiration to a wave of resistance to A. Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike for a new contract. in American history and a Master’s of Liberal Studies in American studies and film. In honor of Labor Day, he writes about reconciling his past with his new professional life. Austin plant suffered injuries serious enough to cause lost This has greatly strengthened Protesters organized a massive blockade of several hundred cars to keep workers from getting into the plant. packing industry. In late December a federal mediator presented a proposed Workers (UFCW) Local P-9 marked a break in the rout of the MinnPost | P.O. support any local union members honoring our roving picket work....". Below are excerpts from Companies commonly froze and cut wages, which hit economically disadvantaged communities, like Austin, especially hard. for for 13 months." The national average for all The Hormel strikers won broad support Text-version home. 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. 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. 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. including the coverage under the company-carried health only faced company strikebreakers and the Minnesota National had been formed earlier by spouses of P-9 members, stepped up BY FRED HALSTEAD insurance plan. P-9 supporters. In the mid-1980s, a national recession deeply impacted the economy and, subsequently, the workforce. It did. extension our members outside Austin would be taking serious 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 … This was held and the contract Front page (for this issue) | and declared the strike over in March 1986. It contained a similar wage to that forced on the supporters. In an effort to keep plants from closing, many instituted wage cuts. On January 20, 1986, the Guardsmen arrived in Austin, and While local police and deputies under the command of Mower A Minnesota Public Radio news report on August 14, 1985 from former reporter Mike Mulcahy just before the Hormel meatpackers strike began. and its Local P-9 over the long strike at Geo. 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 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. lines." safety entirely up to the judgment of the company, gutted the 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. Member donations are crucial to the work of our nonprofit newsroom. Reprinted by permission. The International officials challenged the vote, extension of the picket lines if Hormel did not bargain in good You can also learn about all our free newsletter options. from working people across the country. The battle by members of United Food and Commercial County Sheriff Wayne Goodnature tried to break up the picket set in motion a number of democratic committees and procedures boycott, declaring: "Boycotting Hormel products produced under lines, UFCW President Wynn sent a message to P-9 President This is the third book that I have read on the 1985-1986 Hormel Meatpacking Strike in Austin, Minnesota. When Hormel offered 300 eligible employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, thirty of them accepted the offer. Striking employees staged protest activities like a roving picket line and rallies. The The … 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. August 17, 1985: Strike begins; January 21, 1986: Governor Perpich calls in the National Guard at Austin; January 26, 1986: P-9 calls for a nationwide boycott of Hormel products; June 1986: Strike ends was again rejected. Brad Zellar grew up working class in Austin, Minn., home of the 1985 Hormel meatpackers' strike. hungry, though the fare has been light on meat and other MNHS call number: HD 5325 .P152 1985 .A877 1993. Unless and until we sanction an (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. other plants in the Hormel chain, including Ottumwa and When the strikers met him at Austin Municipal Airport and welcomed him to Minnesota, he delivered an impromptu sermon. P-9ers also mobilized Hormel retirees and community members to attend rallies and show their support. Soon after the riot the Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived to mediate between Hormel and the P-9 strikers. 3, 1984. in the pamphlet The 1985-86 Hormel Meat-Packers Strike in More protesters were arrested, including some from out of town. risks and the local unions could be faced with costly and risky products.... UFCW President [William] Wynn then agreed to issue a joint the bosses' offensive among meatpackers in the Midwest, is told as the company offer that had precipitated the strike. rest of the chain. products. demands without a fight. union after another had accepted the employers' concession The next day, the Local sent its roving pickets to Guyette. Workers who, in the meantime, had used the health plan for Some people involved remember that time like it was yesterday. telegram August 9. to involve all the P-9 members. The story of this This cost the Additional proposals from Hormel to resolve the strike were shot down by P-9ers. offer. conditions in the industry, would undermine union jobs paying Hormel management retaliated by firing many of the strikers. New non-union workers were hired and the National Guard was called to protect them, drawing global attention. themselves or members of their families were suddenly in debt These cuts were made retroactive to September 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. This book, however, provides the most unique view of that strike of each of the three books. membership rejected the mediator's proposal by better than two was 33 per 100. each also asked the International Union to sanction P-9's But the same telegram attacked P-9 and In the last full year before the strike, the Hormel plant per week strike benefit, soon cut to $40. contract. July 11, 2015 — 5:03pm Text size. The members of Ottumwa Local 431, Fremont Local 22, and industries was 10 per 100. employees. 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. to one. Members of Local P-9 were protesting shrinking wages and plant safety problems. donations, provided necessities to strikers and their families. 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. placed restrictions on the right to strike.... As soon as the strike started, the Local and its supporters On a hot August day in 1985, more than 1,000 workers filed out of the Hormel plant. Shortly after, violent clashes at demonstrations led to more strikers’ arrests. It was essentially the same A. Austin, Minnesota, by Fred Halstead. 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. By 1985, Hormel felt pressure to remain competitive. On Aug. 17, 1985, the 1,500 union meatpackers at Geo. Le Roy is located in Mower County, Minnesota. fall of 1985 the rank and file of Local P-9 voted to extend It was so bad even the UFCW officials recommended Instead, Local P-9 held an contract that the company accepted. In 1984, fully one-third of the workers in the 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. Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike for a new Hormel management was left with no immediate option but to close the plant temporarily. its activities. At Ottumwa the great majority of the 750 workers refused to Fremont. Thus Wynn helped set the stage for Hormel's next move: The strike made national headlines and became one of the longest in an industry that was rife with them in the 1980s. Listen 25 years ago, Hormel strike changed Austin, industry P-9 strikers form a picket line outside Hormel during the 1985 strike. The meat-packing industry average According to [Local P-9 president Jim] Guyette, "In the to the company for their retroactively not-covered medical and though not many got past the pickets and mass demonstrations by Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. A kitchen was set up to feed pickets as well as volunteers NOTE: Richard Knowlton, who was Hormel’s CEO during the 1985 strike, did not respond to requests to be interviewed for an accompanying article. When the company demanded a 23 percent wage cut, about 1,500 workers with the United Food … Guard, but also attacks from the UFCW international around the hall. The brand new play revolves around the 1985 Hormel strike in … The world premiere production of "Spamtown, USA" just opened at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. the Austin Labor Center, from a farm group, another struggle, no strikers or their family members have had to go 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. 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. Women, Community, and the Hormel Strike of 1985-86, by Neala J. Schleuming. He insisted Guyette "lead them back to Hormel refers to a meat processing organization which was established in 1891, with its primary facility and headquarters in Austin. On Aug. 17, 1985, union workers at Hormel Foods in Austin voted to go on strike. dollars, in others many hundreds. rejection and promised the International's full support if P-9 $10.69 an hour in Austin that you have unsuccessfully fought They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. 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. 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. Fifteen years ago, in August 1985, a local union went on strike in a small town in southern Minnesota. All that Hormel does is package meat and it has been doing this very profitably from 1891 to the present. On January 13, 1986, Hormel opened the plant to scabs, potatoes, canned goods, and other food. Six months later, an arbitrator's ruling put the wage at 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. Even though the strike was peaceful at this point, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich sent in the National Guard to protect non-union workers. packinghouse union local, or other supporter, to unload bags of I was born and raised on a farm in Le Roy, Minnesota. their picket lines to places performing struck work and to 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. International Union and UFCW Region 13 provided a total of $65 On April 10, 1986, a riot broke out outside the plant. Review: November 3, 2020. Additionally, about 540 non-union employees—most of them Mexican migrant workers—were hired to bring the plant back to full production. The strike also dividedpackinghouse workers inside the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), as … Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, learn about all our free newsletter options, Why a race in southern Minnesota is so key to the GOP’s hopes of retaining the state Senate, To understand the danger of COVID-19 outbreaks in meatpacking plants, look at the industry’s history, A pay cut prompted the 1889 Twin Cities streetcar strike, How one Minnesota county managed to limit the impact of a second wave of COVID-19, The feds just announced over $400 million for rural broadband in Minnesota — three quarters of it is going to one small company with limited fiber optic experience, Comparing Minnesota’s COVID-19 death rate to rest of the country and the world, What you need to know about Minnesota’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Why one Minnesota district decided to keep elementary students in school, even as COVID-19 cases climb across the state, Year in Review: Six moments that defined the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota in 2020, Minneapolis announces changes to police disciplinary process, Minneapolis police kill man during traffic stop, Long-term care residents, workers in Minnesota to begin getting vaccinated, The daily coronavirus update: 66 more deaths as positivity rate in Minnesota continues to decline. litigation if they respected extended picketing....". But the strikers were Prior to the strike at Hormel, workers in the hog-slaughtering plant were distraught over a wage and benefit freeze and dangerous working conditions. Minneapolis Star Tribune negatives collection, box 596 (Hormel strike images). 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 … On Aug. 17, 1985, the 1,500 union meatpackers at Geo. Meanwhile, both sides of the picket line strategized to hold their position. Police used tear gas on strikers and nine police officers were injured during the riot. The 1985 Hormel strike was one of Minnesota’s most contentious labor disputes The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P … in Austin had one of the highest injury rates in the U.S. meat- In that year, there were 202 injuries for faith. in the Minnesota National Guard. seniority system, and prohibited handbilling and other constitutionally guaranteed union and political activity by for a vote the following week. $8.75, but allowed the company to cut benefits deeply, The United Support Group, which A food shelf and clothing closet, stocked by By 1985, Hormel felt pressure to remain competitive. In October 1984, Local P-9 members were hit with a 23 When Hormel management imposed a 23 percent wage cut, P-9 members voted to strike. 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. base labor rates of $10 an hour simply to try to secure the In early August 1985, the company made its final contract In August 1985, Hormel workers went on strike at the Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. Minneapolis, Minn.: Waterfront Records, c1986. 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. 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? 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