Submit comment or question
Note: All comments are displayed with user's screen name. If screen name is not present, user's full name will be used. Please go to My Account to update your screen name.
Comment Policy: Urner Barry has made the comment feature available to encourage further discussion of our news stories. Defamatory or offensive comments, or comments deemed not relevant to the story will be removed, and if necessary, Urner Barry may restrict the right of individual subscribers to offer comments. In all cases, comments represent opinions of the poster only, and do not represent fact, news, opinions or estimates put forward by Urner Barry.
Email Address is required.
Password is required.
Hormel Workers Reject Latest Offer, Contract Extension in Place Until October
Union workers at the Hormel Foods plant in Austin, Minnesota voted to reject a final offer from the company. Voting took place last week from September 13 and 14 at the plant and UFCW union hall in Austin.
UFCW Local 663, which represents over 17,000 retail, meat packing and processing, food preparation and manufacturing, healthcare, and other workers in Minnesota, issued the following statement on Friday:
"This week our coworkers voted overwhelmingly to reject Hormel's final offer to us. It's simply not good enough. We stand united, and...
Union Workers at Austin Hormel Plant Scheduled to Vote on Final Offer from Company
Union workers at the Hormel plant in Austin, Minnesota are scheduled to vote on a final offer from the company tomorrow and Thursday. The current contract with the company expired on Sunday, September 10.
In a statement issued Sunday, the UFCW Local 663 bargaining committee unanimously recommended a "no" vote on the final offer by Hormel. The union said that the company refused to give workers appropriate wages and pensions despite record profits.
Last month, Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), reported results for the third quarter...
3 Things To Know About The Raise the Wage Act of 2023
The Raise The Wage Act is back. And this time a handful of politicians are pushing to raise the federal minimum wage to $17.
The Raise the Wage Act has been around since 2017 when it was sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Bobby Scott. In 2017 it died in committee and then returned again in 2019 where it initially passed the house and then died in committee again. The Raise the Wage Act resurfaced yet again in 2021 with the proposal to eliminate the...
Restaurant Sales Hold Steady in June, Job Growth Slows
The National Restaurant Association reported sales at eating and drinking places reached $88.9 million on a seasonally adjusted basis in June, per preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This total is on par with the month prior.
The Association said the “plateauing” of restaurant sales mimicked the entire retail landscape as spending in non-restaurant retail sectors jumped by 0.2%. The Wall Street Journal noted that overall retail spending indicates that consumers are keeping up with inflation but have yet to outpace it...
Price Relief Coming at the Drive-Through
It takes a lot to get between Americans and fattening food, but everyone has their limits.
Quick serve has been the most successful restaurant category since the pandemic hit, initially because of its ability to provide socially distanced meals and then because of a lower price point as inflation squeezed household budgets. Some upper-middle-class diners have even defected from sit-down to fast-casual eateries like Chipotle or all the way to traditional fast food. But keeping profitability high has required a delicate dance of efficiency gains and...
New Bill Could Help Solve Restaurant Industry’s Labor Challenges Through Work Program
The National Restaurant Association highlighted the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act (HR 3734), a new bill that could help address workforce challenges that continue to hamper the restaurant industry.
EWEA was introduced by Reps. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). It includes a program that will allow workers to come to the U.S. on “market-driven, non-immigrant, three-year visas.”
The program is intended for small businesses in industries with comparatively low sales per employee. It would be available for non-agricultural jobs...
Pace of Foodservice Job Growth Slows, Industry Workforce Still Behind Pre-Pandemic Levels
Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) April showed employment gains in foodservice and drinking places of 25,000, which carried gains seen across the leisure and hospitality sector. Through the first quarter of 2023, the sector has added almost 180,000 jobs.
However, the National Restaurant Association’s chief economist Bruce Grindy said those gains were at a slower pace compared to what has occurred in previous months.
April’s increase followed moderate gains in February (45,400) and March (28,200) – both of which were revised lower from their...
Smithfield Foods To Offer Free Tuition to U.S. Employees
Smithfield Foods will offer free tuition to full-time and part-time employees through a new program specifically designed for adults in the workplace.
Under this program, Smithfield will cover up to 100% of tuition costs for various degree and certificate programs through vetted universities and learning providers, with flexible course schedules and programs aligned to Smithfield's career pathway opportunities. Required textbooks and course fees will also be covered.
"Our employees drive our success, and they are our competitive advantage," said Shane Smith, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods...
McDonald's Temporarily Shuts U.S. Offices as Chain Prepares for Layoff Notices
McDonald's Corp. is temporarily closing its U.S. offices this week as it prepares to inform corporate employees about layoffs undertaken by the burger giant as part of a broader company restructuring.
The Chicago-based fast-food chain said in an internal email last week to U.S. employees and some international staff that they should work from home from Monday through Wednesday so it can deliver staffing decisions virtually. The company, in the message, asked employees to cancel all in-person meetings with vendors and other outside parties at its...
Restaurant Labor Recovery Seeing State-by-State Fluctuation
The National Restaurant Association provided a look at the labor situation of restaurants across the U.S. and the picture varies on a seemingly state-by-state basis.
On a nationwide scale, staffing levels still remain below pre-pandemic levels, according to the Association. As of February 2023, eating and drinking places were 0.9% (108,000 jobs) below their pre-pandemic peak in February 2020.
On a state-by-state basis, 28 states and Washington D.C. remained below the amount seen in February 208.
This group was led by Maine, Maryland and Vermont, which...
Stocks Fluctuate Following Federal Reserve's Latest Rate Hike
In a widely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve unanimously voted to raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday as part of its ongoing effort to tame inflation and slow economic activity.
This was the ninth consecutive rate hike since last March, which brought the federal funds rate to a range of 4.75% to 5%. The latest decision came amidst the recent unrest in the banking industry and a sharp drop in regional bank stocks last week.
The Federal Reserve has indicated that additional rate hikes may be necessary...
U.S. Department of Labor Recovers $353K in Back Wages for 322 Poultry Catching Workers
Work in a poultry catching facility is hard, where people commonly face the risks of working with dangerous equipment, on slippery floors, around hazardous chemicals, and are exposed to the possibility of illness for those handling live birds and the waste and dust they produce. Standing for long hours also greatly increases the risks of musculoskeletal disorders.
At two poultry catching facilities in Alabama and North Carolina, the owner made work even more difficult for 322 employees by denying them their full earned wages...
US Foods Adds Tech Firms to CHECK Business Tools Program to Help Operators Address Labor Shortages
US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD), one of America’s largest foodservice distributors, today announced the addition of two transformative technology offerings to its CHECK® Business Tools program: Bear Robotics and 7shifts. US Foods CHECK Business Tools program provides foodservice operators with a growing suite of technology solutions designed to help drive traffic, simplify staffing and reduce waste. Bear Robotics and 7shifts were ultimately selected to join the US Foods CHECK Business Tools line-up after participating in the company’s Innovative...
Tyson Foods Announces New Team Member Benefits
Tyson Foods announced today new changes and investments aimed at further intensifying U.S. team members relationships and enhancing workplace culture. Specifically, we are making changes to U.S. based policies and practices related to healthcare and overall wellness.
The company’s new policies and investments are in addition to recent compensation benefits. Tyson recently announced it invested more than $50 million in thank you bonuses and $100 million in wage increases for U.S. hourly workers over the past year.
Tyson Foods has invested more...
Maple Leaf Foods Named to Forbes List of Canada's Best Employers 2023
Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. (TSX: MFI) has been named to the Forbes list of Canada's Best Employers 2023. This prestigious award is presented by Forbes and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The awards list was announced on January 25, 2023 and can be viewed on the Forbes website.
Forbes and Statista selected Canada's Best Employers 2023 through an independent survey applied to a vast sample of more than 12,000 Canadian employees working for companies with more than 500 employees in Canada...
McDonald's President: California Keeps Looking for Ways to Raise Prices, Drive Away More Businesses
Whether you're a lawmaker, a business owner or leader, or an everyday voter, one thing is clear: California has become a dramatic case study of putting bad politics over good policy.
Last fall, the legislature passed a bill – AB257, or the FAST Act – almost entirely at the behest of organized labor's firm grip on many of the state's lawmakers. It makes it all but impossible to run small business restaurants, but the impacts are far beyond that. Under the FAST Act
Tyson Foods to Create 400 Jobs at Caseyville Prepared Foods Plant
Tyson Foods has expanded its workforce projections for its Caseyville Prepared Foods facility, creating approximately 400 new team member positions to meet the growing demand for Hillshire Farm® and Jimmy Dean® grab-n-go snacking and breakfast items. This boost in facility team members is a result of the $180 million expansion currently in development. Seven state of the art production lines and 270,000 square feet will be added to the existing Caseyville facility to increase automated warehousing and robotics...
Talks Break Down Between Sysco, Drivers as Strike Continues
Labor negotiations between food distribution giant Sysco, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 653 in Boston and Local 317 in Syracuse, have stalled and the strike will continue.
Sysco wrote that despite its “best efforts” to bring an end to a work stoppage, the Teamsters’ leadership rejected its offer.
“The parties have not been able to reach an agreement because Local 653 demanded Sysco Boston associates participate in the critically underfunded union-sponsored pension plan, a move that Sysco Boston believes is not good for its associates,” Sysco wrote in a press release.
Analysis: UK Beef Prices Hold Firm Amid Tight Cattle Market
Urner Barry's Fall 2023 Reporter Issue Released; Read It Online For Free Now
ANALYSIS: Tom Breast Meat: Off Piste
ANALYSIS: Flank Steaks – Record Rise, Record Fall
ANALYSIS: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch