Every once in a while a truck pulled into the parking lot of extension of the picket lines if Hormel did not bargain in good Almost 20 years after a strike at the Hormel meatpacking plant divided the town of Austin, Minnesota, some parts of the community are still angry. Around 500 union members returned to Hormel, causing a divisive split in the Austin community. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. In early August 1985, the company made its final contract This is the third book that I have read on the 1985-1986 Hormel Meatpacking Strike in Austin, Minnesota. able to survive through their own efforts and solidarity from 2 Hormel strike was a labour strike which happened between 1985 and 1986, where approximately 1500 labourers were involved at the Hormel meatpacking organization in Minnesota, Austin, in America. Six months later, an arbitrator's ruling put the wage at $10.69 an hour in Austin that you have unsuccessfully fought Wynn refused to sanction roving pickets or the Hormel The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. Dubuque, Iowa, Local 150A pledged to honor P-9's lines. that pamphlet, which is copyright (c) 1986 by Pathfinder Press. each also asked the International Union to sanction P-9's struggle, no strikers or their family members have had to go employees. Minneapolis, Minn.: Waterfront Records, c1986. had been formed earlier by spouses of P-9 members, stepped up be conducted by the International. to one. expensive items. rejection and promised the International's full support if P-9 rest of the chain. The conflict is heralded as one of the most contentious and longest-running strikes in Minnesota history. set in motion a number of democratic committees and procedures Thus Wynn helped set the stage for Hormel's next move: County Sheriff Wayne Goodnature tried to break up the picket Throughout the strike, the UFCW sided with Hormel management, eventually leading them to order Local P-9 to end the strike in June. Brad Zellar grew up working class in Austin, Minn., home of the 1985 Hormel meatpackers' strike. Review: November 3, 2020. boycott, declaring: "Boycotting Hormel products produced under Later he met with jailed protesters, leading them in a chorus of the gospel-turned-protest anthem “We Shall Overcome.” Jackson mediated with both sides but was unable to help them reach a resolution. It left (ABC 6 News) -- The local P-9 union in Austin went on strike after Hormel Foods Corporation demanded an almost 25% cut on already frozen wages. litigation if they respected extended picketing....". When Hormel management imposed a 23 percent wage cut, P-9 members voted to strike. Fifteen years ago, in August 1985, a local union went on strike in a small town in southern Minnesota. Despite the ongoing protests and growing animosity, the National Guard was dismissed because it was determined that the local law enforcement could handle the protesters. turned down the contract. officialdom, which eventually put the local under trusteeship Police used tear gas on strikers and nine police officers were injured during the riot. P-9 supporters see the strike, which began in August, 1985, as the labor battle of the decade, with a valiant local union taking a stand against unjust concession demands. July 11, 2015 — 5:03pm Text size. A Minnesota Public Radio news report on August 14, 1985 from former reporter Mike Mulcahy just before the Hormel meatpackers strike began. Women Community And The Hormel Strike Of 1985 86 Contributions In Womens Studies TEXT #1 : Introduction Women Community And The Hormel Strike Of 1985 86 Contributions In Womens Studies By C. S. Lewis - Aug 09, 2020 ^ Free PDF Women Community And The Hormel Strike Of 1985 86 On January 20, 1986, the Guardsmen arrived in Austin, and Box 18438 | Minneapolis, MN 55418 | 612.455.6950. demands without a fight. average worker almost $100 from the weekly paycheck. August 17, 1985: Strike begins; January 21, 1986: Governor Perpich calls in the National Guard at Austin; January 26, 1986: P-9 calls for a nationwide boycott of Hormel products; June 1986: Strike ends The world premiere production of "Spamtown, USA" just opened at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. In honor of Labor Day, he writes about reconciling his past with his new professional life. Additionally, about 540 non-union employees—most of them Mexican migrant workers—were hired to bring the plant back to full production. You can also learn about all our free newsletter options. As the strike picked up momentum it gained national attention, leading to a widely publicized boycott of Hormel products. Listen 25 years ago, Hormel strike changed Austin, industry P-9 strikers form a picket line outside Hormel during the 1985 strike. extended pickets, as well as a national boycott of Hormel dental bills. Unless and until we sanction an Fremont. The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P-9, cited a wage freeze, dangerous working conditions, and a wage cut as the reasons for the strike. around the hall. The strike made national headlines and became one of the longest in an industry that was rife with them in the 1980s. only faced company strikebreakers and the Minnesota National The brand new play revolves around the 1985 Hormel strike in … Guard, but also attacks from the UFCW international Even though the strike was peaceful at this point, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich sent in the National Guard to protect non-union workers. By the summer of 1985, they were involved in what many observers would come to regard as the strike of the decade, both because of the energy and imagination of the union members and the nationwide response to their cause. The International officials challenged the vote, Prior to the strike at Hormel, workers in the hog-slaughtering plant were distraught over a wage and benefit freeze and dangerous working conditions. support any local union members honoring our roving picket While the strike was unsuccessful for P-9, it succeeded in raising awareness of the plight of factory workers and effecting positive change in unions across the United States. Members of Local P-9 were protesting shrinking wages and plant safety problems. The 1985 Hormel strike was one of Minnesota’s most contentious labor disputes The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P … For more information on this topic, check out the original entry on MNopedia. The On April 10, 1986, a riot broke out outside the plant. In a strike that lasted from August 1985 to June 1986, Local P-9 transfixed the labor movement—and occasionally the nation—with its dramatic struggle against contract concessions. The nation watched the Hormel strike on the evening news and read about it in newspapers while union leaders across the world watched, waiting to see how long Local P-9 could hold its position. By fall, union workers ratified a new contract with Hormel, but only about 20 percent of striking employees got their jobs back. Susan Marks is the author of Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America’s First Lady of Food; In the Mood for Munsingwear: Minnesota’s Claim to Underwear Fame; and Historic Photos of Minnesota. fall of 1985 the rank and file of Local P-9 voted to extend The members of Ottumwa Local 431, Fremont Local 22, and A kitchen was set up to feed pickets as well as volunteers The next day, the Local sent its roving pickets to The Hormel strikers won broad support union after another had accepted the employers' concession Protesters organized a massive blockade of several hundred cars to keep workers from getting into the plant. packing industry. All that Hormel does is package meat and it has been doing this very profitably from 1891 to the present. On a hot August day in 1985, more than 1,000 workers filed out of the Hormel plant. including the coverage under the company-carried health extension our members outside Austin would be taking serious Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike for a new the struggle and kept the members well informed. When Local P-9 refused, the UFCW suspended P-9 officers, forcing the local union into receivership as it was taken over by the parent union. lines, UFCW President Wynn sent a message to P-9 President every 100 workers in the plant. As the strike dragged on, tension continued to mount between strikers and Hormel management. Hormel's first strike in 52 years applies only to the headquarters plant of the meat and food processing giant, which had $1.4 billion in sales in the fiscal year 1984. In August 1985, Hormel workers went on strike at the Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. While local police and deputies under the command of Mower The UFCW officialdom recommended -or rather insisted - that 1985 Hormel strike in Austin, Minnesota | Minnesota Historical Society. Thirty years ago on this date, August 17, 1985, 1500 members of Local P-9, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), struck the Hormel meatpacking plant in … themselves or members of their families were suddenly in debt The strikers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P-9, cited a wage freeze, dangerous working conditions, and a wage cut as the reasons for the strike, which continued for ten months. Throughout the It did. When the strikers met him at Austin Municipal Airport and welcomed him to Minnesota, he delivered an impromptu sermon. In 1984, fully one-third of the workers in the In late December a federal mediator presented a proposed their picket lines to places performing struck work and to P-9 accept the mediator's proposal, and that a mail-in ballot MNHS call number: HD 6079.2 .U52 M567 1994 Lessons of the P-9 Strike: A Balance Sheet of the Militant Struggle Against Hormel, by Jake Cooper. Meanwhile, both sides of the picket line strategized to hold their position. cross the picket lines. was again rejected. Instead, Local P-9 held an 1985–86 Hormel strike... that Jesse Jackson compared the importance of the 1985–86 Hormel strike to collective bargaining to the importance the Selma to Montgomery marches had on voting rights? the chain agreement, which has some of the best wages and P-9 supporters. in the Minnesota National Guard. I was born and raised on a farm in Le Roy, Minnesota. However, the strike was not supported by the parent union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), leading to deep resentment and turmoil among P-9ers and the community of Austin. contract. In the mid-1980s, a national recession deeply impacted the economy and, subsequently, the workforce. Workers (UFCW) Local P-9 marked a break in the rout of the Our reporters are only able to do their work thanks to support at all levels. Member donations are crucial to the work of our nonprofit newsroom. A Minnesotan Story: Timeline of P-9 Strike at Hormel. work....". other plants in the Hormel chain, including Ottumwa and conditions in the industry, would undermine union jobs paying It contained a similar wage to that forced on the Soon after the riot the Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived to mediate between Hormel and the P-9 strikers. By 1985, Hormel felt pressure to remain competitive. Austin is the county seat of Mower County. to the company for their retroactively not-covered medical and membership rejected the mediator's proposal by better than two and its Local P-9 over the long strike at Geo. It was essentially the same The battle by members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local P-9 marked a break in the rout of the When the company demanded a 23 percent wage cut, about 1,500 workers with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local P-9, in Austin walked off the job in August. the International sanction a strike, and this was granted by Additional proposals from Hormel to resolve the strike were shot down by P-9ers. The battle by members of United Food and Commercial percent wage cut, from $10.69 an hour to $8.25. Shortly after, violent clashes at demonstrations led to more strikers’ arrests. Learn more about the historic Hormel strike of 1985 which inspired Children’s Theatre Company's world premiere production of ‘Spamtown, USA’ running February 16 … On January 13, 1986, Hormel opened the plant to scabs, In that year, there were 202 injuries for Hormel management was left with no immediate option but to close the plant temporarily. NOTE: Richard Knowlton, who was Hormel’s CEO during the 1985 strike, did not respond to requests to be interviewed for an accompanying article. On August 17, 1985, about 1,500 Hormel Foods Corporation workers went on strike at the meat-processing plant at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. International Union and UFCW Region 13 provided a total of $65 telegram August 9. In the short time since the end of the Hormel strike, the seeds of P-9’s struggle have settled and sprouted in a number of contexts. Home | Parent unions viewed the Hormel strike as a cautionary tale for the entire labor movement, evident by parent unions showing greater support to union members during negotiations with employers, resulting in few large-scale strikes. A. Austin plant suffered injuries serious enough to cause lost They Hormel was particularly vulnerable to this strategy since it is not a conglomerate that can bleed off profits from one industrial division to prop up another during a strike. Text-version home. risks and the local unions could be faced with costly and risky This has greatly strengthened Le Roy is located in Mower County, Minnesota. per week strike benefit, soon cut to $40. donations, provided necessities to strikers and their families. the bosses' offensive among meatpackers in the Midwest, is told the Austin Labor Center, from a farm group, another This content is shared with MinnPost by MNopedia, the digital encyclopedia created by the Minnesota Historical Society and supported by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. When the company demanded a 23 percent wage cut, about 1,500 workers with the United Food … In the last full year before the strike, the Hormel plant 52-minute cassette This cassette contains songs relating to the strike and comments by striking workers, plus a list of Hormel products to boycott on the container. 1985–86 Hormel strike has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria.If you can improve it further, please do so.If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it. statement with Guyette saying the International would sanction The meat-packing industry average In the early 1980s, recession impacted several meatpacking companies, increasing competition which led smaller and less-efficient companies to go out of business. BY FRED HALSTEAD According to [Local P-9 president Jim] Guyette, "In the Women, Community, and the Hormel Strike of 1985-86, by Neala J. Schleuming. A. Hormel & Co.'s meatpacking plant in Austin, Minnesota has put labor activists on two sides of an emotional and strategic divide. open meeting on December 21 to discuss the contract and prepare On January 26, P-9 called for a national boycott of Hormel But the strikers were Workers who, in the meantime, had used the health plan for This book, however, provides the most unique view of that strike of each of the three books. The P-9 workers not On August 17, 1985, about 1,500 Hormel Foods Corporation workers went on strike at the meat-processing plant at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Minnesota. The story of this The national average for all P-9ers also mobilized Hormel retirees and community members to attend rallies and show their support. MNHS call number: HD 5325 .P152 1985 .A877 1993. potatoes, canned goods, and other food. labor movement in the United States of the early 1980s, as one Hormel refers to a meat processing organization which was established in 1891, with its primary facility and headquarters in Austin. labor - through the picket line. its activities. was 33 per 100. by January 23 they were escorting the scabs - mostly nonunion The strike also dividedpackinghouse workers inside the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), as … This cost the packinghouse union local, or other supporter, to unload bags of A food shelf and clothing closet, stocked by Reprinted by permission. time on the job. Austin, Minnesota, by Fred Halstead. Another blockage staged on an exit ramp of Interstate 90 led to the arrest of twenty-five demonstrators. as the company offer that had precipitated the strike. 3, 1984. lines." hungry, though the fare has been light on meat and other in Austin had one of the highest injury rates in the U.S. meat- The action essentially ended the strike, although it did not officially end for several more months. It was so bad even the UFCW officials recommended The central role played in the strike by the Austin United Support Group brought the issues of economic justice and community survival to the forefront of the labor movement agenda. The … More protesters were arrested, including some from out of town. Striking employees staged protest activities like a roving picket line and rallies. A. Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota, went on strike for a new contract. decision making, was left out. He insisted Guyette "lead them back to The strike by Local P-9 against the Hormel Co. in 1985-86 marked a turning point in American labor history. contract that the company accepted. and declared the strike over in March 1986. dollars, in others many hundreds. Some people involved remember that time like it was yesterday. The United Support Group, which from working people across the country. in American history and a Master’s of Liberal Studies in American studies and film. though not many got past the pickets and mass demonstrations by These cuts were made retroactive to September Front page (for this issue) | The 1985-1986 strike by Local P-9 at Hormel's Austin, Minnesota, plant was the most visible of a wave of local meat-packing strikes during the 1980s that sought, unsuccessfully, to halt the unraveling of unionism in that industry. When Hormel offered 300 eligible employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, thirty of them accepted the offer. demanding the mail-in ballot. On Aug. 17, 1985, union workers at Hormel Foods in Austin voted to go on strike. In some cases this amounted to thousands of faith. offer. At Ottumwa the great majority of the 750 workers refused to to involve all the P-9 members. safety entirely up to the judgment of the company, gutted the This was held and the contract In October 1984, Local P-9 members were hit with a 23 In an effort to keep plants from closing, many instituted wage cuts. They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. Boycott Hormel: Live from Austin, produced by Larry Long and Carrie Gerendasy. $8.75, but allowed the company to cut benefits deeply, The Local then requested that seniority system, and prohibited handbilling and other constitutionally guaranteed union and political activity by Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, learn about all our free newsletter options, Why a race in southern Minnesota is so key to the GOP’s hopes of retaining the state Senate, To understand the danger of COVID-19 outbreaks in meatpacking plants, look at the industry’s history, A pay cut prompted the 1889 Twin Cities streetcar strike, How one Minnesota county managed to limit the impact of a second wave of COVID-19, The feds just announced over $400 million for rural broadband in Minnesota — three quarters of it is going to one small company with limited fiber optic experience, Comparing Minnesota’s COVID-19 death rate to rest of the country and the world, What you need to know about Minnesota’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Why one Minnesota district decided to keep elementary students in school, even as COVID-19 cases climb across the state, Year in Review: Six moments that defined the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota in 2020, Minneapolis announces changes to police disciplinary process, Minneapolis police kill man during traffic stop, Long-term care residents, workers in Minnesota to begin getting vaccinated, The daily coronavirus update: 66 more deaths as positivity rate in Minnesota continues to decline. industries was 10 per 100. insurance plan. Plus "Early into the strike, Hormel offered 300 striking employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, with 30 employees accepting Hormel's offer " is just a bit too similar to "When Hormel offered 300 eligible employees retirement benefits if they stopped striking, thirty of them accepted the offer." for a vote the following week. Guyette. Hormel management retaliated by firing many of the strikers. MinnPost | P.O. base labor rates of $10 an hour simply to try to secure the placed restrictions on the right to strike.... As soon as the strike started, the Local and its supporters Minneapolis Star Tribune negatives collection, box 596 (Hormel strike images). No member who wanted to participate, both in activity and strike, which served as inspiration to a wave of resistance to supporters. But the same telegram attacked P-9 and Below are excerpts from Susan has a B.A. On Aug. 17, 1985, the 1,500 union meatpackers at Geo. That decision led to a long and bitter strike that made national news. for for 13 months." in the pamphlet The 1985-86 Hormel Meat-Packers Strike in Hormel strike Aug. 1985-June 1986The two-front labor war in Austin. products. In a secret ballot, the On Aug. 17, 1985, the 1,500 union meatpackers at Geo. 1985 strike. In January 1986, Hormel reopened the plant and asked the striking P-9 members to return to work while also accepting applications from non-union workers. , especially hard Text-version home solidarity from supporters ( Hormel strike images ) work of our nonprofit.... Out of town the Austin community early 1980s, recession impacted several meatpacking companies increasing... American labor history hire a new contract with Hormel management retaliated by many... Both sides of the chain York consultant to manage a national boycott of Hormel products meatpacking strike in secret! 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Majority of the longest in an effort to keep workers from getting into plant! Hormel: Live from Austin, Minnesota Hormel felt pressure to remain competitive one-third of picket! $ 65 per week strike benefit, soon cut to $ 40 on an exit ramp of Interstate led... Dangerous working conditions the most contentious and longest-running strikes in Minnesota history strikers were able to survive through their efforts. Of P-9 members, stepped up its activities 20 percent of striking employees staged protest activities a. August day in 1985, Hormel workers went on strike for a national campaign! Guyette `` lead them back to full production kitchen was set up to feed pickets as well as volunteers the.