FORT MADISON, Iowa--()--Pinnacle Foods workers in Fort Madison, a majority of who are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 617, voted on Thursday, February 14, to ratify a new four-year contract that preserves their pension plan and includes a wage increase of $1.60 to $1.80 over the term of the agreement. Earlier in January, Pinnacle Foods workers voted to authorize a strike to protest the company’s plan to eliminate their pension plans.
“Pensions allow workers to remain in the middle class, boost their savings rates during retirement and reinvest in our economy. This contract is not only a win for Pinnacle Foods workers, it’s also a win for the surrounding communities.”
“The fact that we were able to preserve retirement benefits for Pinnacle Foods workers is significant,” said UFCW Local 617 President Darin Boatman. “Pensions allow workers to remain in the middle class, boost their savings rates during retirement and reinvest in our economy. This contract is not only a win for Pinnacle Foods workers, it’s also a win for the surrounding communities.”
Defined benefit pension plans are the most secure retirement system for workers. While many workers are forced to rely on less secure investments, like 401 (k) plans, or have no retirement at all, many UFCW members have retirement security through their pension benefits that provide for a monthly payment for their lifetime after they retire.
The new contract covers over 450 Pinnacle Foods workers in the Fort Madison plant, which manufactures canned food products, including Vienna sausages, Armour brand corned beef hash, beef stew and chili.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for health care reform, living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize the American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, http://www.ufcw.org/, or join our online community at http://www.facebook.com/ufcwinternational and https://twitter.com/UFCW.