Smithfield Foods, UFCW settle Tar Heel plant suit

CHICAGO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc SFD.N and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said on Monday they settled a lawsuit related to the union's 10-year campaign to organize workers at Smithfield's Tar Heel, North Carolina, pork plant.

As part of the settlement, the two sides agreed to an election plan whereby employees at the plant can determine if they want the UFCW to represent them, the statement said. No date was given for the election.

The UFCW agreed to end its public campaign against Smithfield and both parties agreed to establish and jointly fund a “Feed the Hungry Program.”

Smithfield filed the lawsuit against the UFCW in October 2007 alleging the union initiated a campaign to force the company to recognize the union as the sole representative of hourly employees at the plant

The Tar Heel facility has about 5,000 employees. (Editing by Derek Caney)