You've probably heard by now that Smithfield Foods plans to dock any worker that walks out or doesn't show up on Monday.
Not the first of the troubles at the plant, which is the largest hog slaughtering operation in the world. Here's the Smithfield Justice site on the issue.
Smithfield workers have organized a petition drive. Text of their sample letter:
For over ten years, the workers at Smithfield Packing in Tar Heel, NC have worked dangerous jobs under extreme conditions. The workers kill and disassemble 32,000 pigs a day in your Tar Heel plant and receive very little respect from management. For years the workers have fought for their right to choose a union in the plant, but time and time again they are met with resistance at the hand of you, Smithfield.
The struggle in Tar Heel has been inspired by great leaders like Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. Recently, the workers in the plant presented a petition for a paid holiday on January 15th. This is a way for your management to show their respect for the workers and to recognize the importance of this day. Most of the workers are African-American and Latino, 5500 strong, yet are being denied the day off to celebrate this Holiday. Not too far from the plant, an event is planned to commemorate the life and struggles of Martin Luther King, however without the paid Holiday thousands of workers will be unable to attend.
It is in this vein that we ask of you, Smithfield Packing Tar Heel division, to give the workers a paid holiday on January 15th and to honor the great civil rights leaders. It is a simple way for you to show you appreciate the years of hard work the thousands of Smithfield workers have given.