There were a number of factual inaccuracies in your story "Smithfield loses its appeal." None of these inaccuracies were stated in or implied by the United Food and Commercial Workers' (UFCW) press release disseminated on this matter.
— First, Smithfield did not lose its appeal in the QSI case. Quite the opposite, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision. The 4th Circuit enforced the Board only with regard to Dan English. Smithfield did not appeal the allegation concerning English.
— Second line in heading: "Cleaning service must rehire workers." The 4th Circuit decision did not address this. The workers actually settled with the cleaning service, QSI, while the 4th Circuit appeal was pending. They received back pay and decided not to return to work for QSI.
— Third paragraph of text of article: The notice currently being posted by Smithfield says the Employer promises not to threaten workers' chances for promotion or job change. It says nothing about physically assaulting workers nor did our press release say that there was anything in the notice about physically assaulting workers.
— Fourth paragraph of text of article: The original QSI/Smithfield NLRB case was decided in April, 2006 not 2007 as the article states. The UFCW press release provided a complete citation of the case and accurately states that the case was decided in 2006.
— Fourth paragraph of text of article: The 4th Circuit decision did not rule on misconduct attributed to Smithfield. The court did not rule because it was unnecessary to the court decision once the court decided that the workers' walkout was unprotected by the National Labor Relations Act. Therefore, the Court neither rejected or affirmed the facts of Smithfield and its security force's conduct.
— Fifth paragraph of text of article: The 4th Circuit did not address QSI at all. Only the NLRB case addressed the cleaning contractor and eventually settled with the contractor.
— Tenth paragraph of text of article: The 4th Circuit did not rule on whether Smithfield's police force threatened or beat workers. The press release accurately says that the 4th Circuit did not rule on the NLRB finding that Smithfield's police force beat and threatened workers. The news article misleadingly refers to the UFCW press release.
— Eleventh paragraph of text of article: The news article is false here: the 4th Circuit did not rule about Smithfield's actions. What it did rule was that the workers' walkout was not protected under the National Labor Relations Act and therefore the NLRB decision had to be reversed with respect to Smithfield's actions toward the QSI workers. The 4th Circuit's concluding statement regarding Smithfield and the QSI employees was: "Accordingly, because QSI's employees on November 15 'strayed into the realm of unprotected activity,' we grant Smithfield's petition for review." 510 F.3 at 521.
The union is very careful to assure that any information it disseminates is accurate and we hope that the Bladen Journal will do so as well. We are engaged in supporting workers at Smithfield who have cited abusive treatment in the plant and want to form a union in order to have a collective voice and protection. In Smithfield plants like Iowa, where there is a union, there is a safety committee that helps assure safe working conditions, pay is higher and health care is better.
If workers are injured, their injuries are addressed quickly and when there is a grievance the workers have a collective voice with which to talk with management. We believe the hard working employees at Smithfield in Tar Heel deserve the same resepct and rights as those workers in Iowa. We have joined with thousands of workers in urging Smithfield to accept a free and fair process for the workers to choose.
Smithfield Justice Campaign
Editor’s note: The folowing is an explanation for where informati0on was gathered for the story in question ...
• Second paragraph. “Cleaning service must rehire workers”. Page 1120 of the original NLRB ruling state QSI had to offer jobs back to 14 workers who were dismissed.
• Third paragraph. Appendix B, line 13, of NLRB ruling states, “We will not physically assault you because you engaged in protected concerted activities.”
• Fourth paragraph date of ruling. Original ruling date of QSI/Smithfield NLRB case: in an e-mail from Robert Brown, regarding Smithfield, “Ruling in QSI case was November 2007.”
• Fourth paragraph information was taken from Dennis Pittman’s statement which was e-mailed to the Journal via Robert Brown.
• Fifth paragraph should have read “NLRB ruling.”
• Tenth paragraph was referring to the fourth paragraph of UFCW’s press release and was not quoted directly. Second sentence in paragraph 10 came from Dennis Pittman’s statement.
• Eleventh paragraph was directly quoted from Dennis Pittman’s statement.