July 1, 2009 / 9:14 PM / in 8 years

Smithfield's Tar Heel workers accept contract

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CHICAGO, July 1 (Reuters) - Meat cutters at Smithfield Foods Inc's SFD.N huge Tar Heel, North Carolina, pork plant accepted a four-year labor contract after two days of voting, the United Food and Commercial Workers union said in a statement on Wednesday.

This is the first union contract for the approximately 4,600 eligible hourly and maintenance workers at the Tar Heel plant. The Tar Heel facility is the largest pork plant in the world.

The company and the union reached an agreement on the contract last week.

The contract took effect on Wednesday and will grant wage increases of $1.50 per hour over the life of the contract. It also includes family health care coverage, paid vacation and guaranteed weekly hours. (Reporting by Bob Burgdorfer; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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