The agreement was announced in a joint news release on Monday.
In accordance with the agreement, the UFCW agrees to end its public campaign against Smithfield. The campaign called for boycotts of Smithfield products.
“Both parties have agreed there shall be no further public statement about this settlement until the election has been concluded,” according to the press release.
Both groups have also agreed to establish a “Feed the Hungry” program to be jointly-funded by the UFCW and Smithfield.
The two sides have been embroiled in an often harsh battle over when, whether and how to allow Smithfield employees to vote on unionization of the Tar Heel plant.
No date for the election has been announced.
There have been several failed attempts to unionize the plant in past years. Union organizers once favored a card-check vote, but Smithfield has opposed such a system as it would create a “hostile environment.” Smithfield, instead, supported a secret ballot process.
In October 2007, Smithfield filed a lawsuit against the union charging “malicious conduct” and included allegations of racketeering under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization law. The law, adopted in 1970, allows private parties to sue racketeers for damages to businesses or property. Under the agreement announced Monday, the suit was dismissed.
In the statement, both Smithfield and the UFCW said they “have agreed on what both parties believe to be a fair election process by which the employees at Smithfield’s Tar Heel plant can choose whether or not to be represented by the UFCW.”