Wednesday, October 26, 2005

National Human Rights Panel to Address Concerns for Smithfield Workers; Workers Will Testify to Workplace Abuses at Nation's Largest Pork Processing Plant

News Advisory:

A panel of leading legislators, human and worker rights advocates will discuss worker issues at the nation's largest pork processing plant. The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave., Atlanta.

Confirmed Panelists are: Alisha Thomas Morgan (State Legislator), Nan Orrock (State Legislator), Charlie Flemming (Atlanta Central Labor Council), Tish Tallman (MALDEF), and Carmen Vega (Edison Group). Honored Guests are: Mayor Shirley Franklin and Dr. Joseph Lowery.

The Smithfield plant, located in Bladen County, N.C., employs more than 6,000 workers and has been the subject of a report issued by Human Rights Watch in early 2005, "Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers' Rights in U.S . Meat and Poultry Plants." Smithfield was singled out for widespread abuses of worker and human rights including terrorizing its workforce with a company police force.

This is the second Atlanta event to highlight the growing movement for justice for the workers at Smithfield. Thursday's event will also feature personal testimony from workers like Lorena Ramos who was falsely arrested and thrown in the company jail on trumped up charges. Lorena had been a vocal supporter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

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For more information, contact Geri Taylor, 678-640-8112 or Janice Lewis at 678-364-0146 or email press@ufcw.org. http://www.smithfieldjustice.org

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