AUSTIN, Minn. — Leaders of the union for striking meatpackers said Monday that they hope to meet with representatives of the Geo. A. Hormel Co. on Thursday in an attempt to settle a seven-month-old walkout.
The last substantive negotiations took place Jan. 25 and the two sides met for four hours on Feb. 11.
"It looks like it's tentatively scheduled for Thursday," said Pete Winkels, business agent for Local P-9 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. "It's only possible if the company can free up its key personnel."
The 1,500 meatpackers walked off their jobs Aug. 17 in a dispute over wages, safety and seniority. The plant reopened Jan. 20 with 1,025 replacement workers.
Hormel cut meatpackers' wages in October, 1984, from $10.69 to $8.25 an hour to meet competition in the meatpacking industry. An arbitrator raised the wage to $9.25 just before the strike. The local has three times rejected a $10-an-hour wage.