Week of 12.15.06
This Week: About the Show | Video Notebook: A Day at the Plant | Kate Bronfenbrenner on American Labor Unions | Meatpacking in the U.S. | Question of the Week | Transcript
This week NOW travels to Tar Heel, North Carolina to investigate the twelve-year battle to unionize the world's largest pork processing plant. In so doing, NOW's Maria Hinojosa became the first TV journalist ever allowed to film inside the plant, owned by Smithfield Packing, a Fortune 500 company.
Video: Food Fight
Smithfield has been locked in a fight with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) for over a decade amid court and government findings of past intimidation, physical violence, spying, and other past violations of workers' rights.
While following the story, we meet Keith Ludlum, a long-time employee of the plant who has been collaborating with his fellow workers to try to unionize Smithfield Foods.
The outcome of the stand-off—one of America's longest running labor fights ever—is a test case for organized labor's efforts to unionize low-wage workers, particularly in the traditionally anti-union South. Can labor unions still pack a punch for workers?