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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

70 workers walk off in brief strike at SL Tyson

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

There will be no punishment taken against the estimated 70-75 team members who walked off their jobs at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Storm Lake Thursday.

Some workers had put messages with pro-union symbols or writing on their uniforms, and when they were told that company policy prohibits such behavior, they walked off their jobs. The workers went to the human resources department, where plant management personnel further explained the policy, Tyson spokesperson Gary Mickelson said.

After about 15 minutes, all of the workers decided to return to their jobs. No punishment will be necessary, and Mickelson said he is not aware of any lost wages due to the incident.

There has been no trouble since the walk-off, he added, and the team members reportedly did not express any other concerns on working conditions.

Under Tyson policy, the employee uniforms are considered to be company policy, and team members are prohibited from defacing them with messages, such as those promoting union organization. Only the team member's name and locker number is permitted, Mickelson said.

Tyson officials said they are not aware of any active union organization campaign in the plant, and were uncertain what the workers were promoting.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union had done some soliciting outside the plant earlier, and UFCW officers in Sioux City said they didn't know the status of the campaign. A UFCW worker has been stationed in a Storm Lake hotel to work toward the organization, they told the Pilot-Tribune.

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