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Mountaire workers oust union from Selbyville plant

Tony Gorman
Delaware Public Media

In a landslide vote, workers at Mountaire’s chicken processing plant in Selbyville voted to remove a union from the plant.

The request to decertify the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27 was filed by a Selbyville employee in October, and preliminary mail-in ballot results show 356-80 in favor of removing the union.

Efforts to oust the union from the plant have been going on for a while, a vote had been called last summer, but the votes were thrown out after the union challenged the timing of the vote.

Selbyville is the only plant owned by Mountaire where unions are present; they've been there since the plant was purchased in 1977.

The Teamsters Local 355 union still remains active at the plant — but that union only represents around 200 employees, while the UFCW represented almost 1,000.

In a statement Friday, Mountaire Farms president Phillip Pylar says “Our employees have just been asking for their voices to be heard, and today, they were heard loud and clear.”

This outcome bucks national trends moving towards the creation of unions, workers at a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York became the first Starbucks location to unionize its workers.

And other companies such as Amazon continue to fight back against growing efforts to form unions at their businesses.

Representatives from the UFCW Local 27 did not return requests for comment.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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