Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report
Produced by Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash
Monday, June 26, 2006, 7- 8 pm EST,
over WBAI Radio 99.5 FM
or streaming live at
Working on the Food Chain

The Killing Floor at Smithfield Hams
Edward Morrison, fired Smithfield worker
and Gene Bruskin, Director, Smithfield Justice Campaign,
United Food and Commercial Workers Union(UFCW)

Poverty wages, brutal conditions, crippling injuries--5,500 workers in Tar Heel,
N.C. face this every day at the world's largest hog processing plant. Cited by
Human Rights Watch for violating international human rights standards,
Smithfield Packing has created an environment of intimidation, racial tension,
and sometimes violence for workers who are organizing for justice on the job.
The company, which at one time created its own private police force, was
found liable by the National Labor Relations Board and the DC Court of
Appeals of assaulting, intimidiating, illegally firing and threatening its workers
with deportation. A century since Upton Sinclair's The Jungle shocked the
world about the atrocious conditions endured by workers in meatpacking
plants; time stands still at Smithfield. Renewing its efforts to organize workers
at a Smithfield Packing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., the United Food and
Commercial Workers June 19 launched a nationwide community-based
campaign against the meatpacker.Civil Rights, religious, community, and
labor organizations are helping workers in the fight to win justice at Smithfield.
Workers & Farmers vs. Free Trade & Global Agribusiness
Excerpts the Cornell Global Labor Institute Forum
Prawala Anand Tatte, Shetkari Sanghatana, India
Martina Unterberger, MST/Landless Workers Movement, Brazil
Alberto Gomez Flores, Union of Autonomous Regional Farmers’
Organizations, Mexico

Campesino farmers are leading the fight against free trade and corporate
globalization. Protests in Cancun, Mexico in 2003 led by campesino farmers
from Mexico and around the world led to the collapse of WTO talks, and similar
protests by Korean farmers and their allies in Hong Kong last December led to
the near collapse of talks again. Campesino farmers are also campaigning
against agri-businesses who are not only a main force behind free trade but who
also increasingly have near monopoly power in markets for corn and other grains
(Cargill), seeds (Monsanto), meat (Smithfield), and supermarkets (Wal-Mart).
These farmer leaders talk about global and national issues, specifically: In India:
Desperate conditions for farmers have led to tens of thousands of suicides in
farming communities. Farmers also waged demonstrations of over 50,000
people last year against the WTO, and are fighting against corporations like
Coca-Cola that deplete local water resources. In Brazil: The MST (Landless
Workers Movement) has helped over 350,000 families occupy and farm on the
land, and where farmers have waged fights against companies like Monsanto
and Syngenta involved in genetically modified food. In Mexico: Campesinos led
the fight against the WTO in 2003 and continue to fight government policies
which force farmers off the land and contribute greatly to high immigration to the
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