Mountaire Farms employees in Selbyville have voted to remove the United Food and Commercial Workers union from their plant.
The plant, which processes fresh chicken products, was the only Mountaire plant that had unions, which were in place when the plant was bought by Mountaire in 1977. It also has plants in Arkansas, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
Members of the Local 27 union voted by mail, and the vote count Thursday showed that they said by 356 to 80 that they wanted the union out. The vote is expected to be certified Dec. 23.
The move flies in the face of much more union activity across the country, especially in media groups and even at Amazon.
“After 44 years of union representation, the Selbyville plant takes a huge step forward today,” said Phillip Plylar, president of Mountaire Farms, in a press release. “Our employees have just been asking for their voices to be heard, and today, they were heard loud and clear.”
A Selbyville employee filed a petition in October to decertify the union.
Last summer, employees asked for decertification of the UFCW but were denied the option due to a technicality. A mail-in ballot was held but the union filed numerous challenges and, ultimately, the NLRB threw out the vote without counting it.
This fall was the first opportunity employees had to again ask for an election.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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