Hormel workers march on Labor Day in Austin

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 5:07 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – Hundreds of people participated in the Labor Day March downtown Austin Monday morning.

This march was organized by the local 663 United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), demanding Hormel provide what they call a fair contract for essential meatpacking workers.

“As negotiations continue, it is important that Hormel comes back with respectful proposals so that we could come to a good contract that respects our members’ work and can keep Hormel running.”

UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong

Hormel workers and many Austin community members were standing in solidarity, negotiating for better pay, job safety, and benefits.

Historically, Austin was home to one of Minnesota’s most contentious labor disputes in the 1980′s. Local 663 union members say the march on Monday honors the legacy of workers’ rights and their importance for both the community and the country.

“On Labor Day, it seems especially important that we march together, show our solidarity together and acknowledge all of the work that these members have done to keep us all fed as essential workers throughout the pandemic.”

UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong

The march was peaceful and garnered support from the locals.

“I really hope that everybody keeps in mind that the members here at Hormel and at QPP (Quality Pork Processors), these meatpacking workers throughout the state are heroes. They were heroes throughout the pandemic. They are heroes everyday. They are the reason we can all eat.”

UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong

KTTC reached out to Hormel for its response to Monday’s demonstration, but we were told no one was available to comment, given the holiday.