Local News

Celebrity Chef Urged to End Partnership with Smithfield Foods

Posted June 29, 2007

— Activists upset about working conditions at the Smithfield plant in Tar Heel will protest Saturday in Charlotte at an event featuring celebrity chef Paula Deen.

The pork-processing plant has become a rallying point for labor groups looking to expand unions to the Southern manufacturing industry.

Protesters will call for Deen to end her partnership with Smithfield Foods.


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  • HARDWORK Jun 30, 2007

    we as Americans are no longer in charge of our own country, we are being beat down now by other countries who still know how to make a dollar. I was brought up to get whatever I can without the need of others, but with these unions our country will falter. my first paycheck at sixteen years old was garnished $22.00 for union dues,I brought home $112.00. i spoke with the plant manager and he laughed at me saying. " talk to the lady behind the curtain..."

  • Dreamin of Disney World Jun 29, 2007

    So how much did the workers get paid to do those commercials?

  • lildeb_2007 Jun 29, 2007

    I have never been scared of hard work. I have came home many nights drenched in water, oil (from the conveyor belts), blood and fat when I worked at Smithfield. If you think it is so easy and stuff, try working there. I believe you would sing a whole different tune. and the only reason I quit working there was because I almost miscarried and my supervisor told me in a few words that killing and cutting and packing up the hogs was more important than my child. after I lost that job, I lost my car because I could not find a job that would hire me while I was pregnant.

  • tiredofgovtwaste Jun 29, 2007

    I agree - if you don't like the job move on and let the illegals aliens have them. Help them help their economy back in Mexico. No wonder companies are moving overseas, we Americans do nothing but gripe and complian and demand that our nails not get messed up while we are working. Get a grip. Hard work is what made this country and the last 3 generations have sent it in a downward spiral. When it hits bottom, I hope that someone will be there to set it right side up again. Life is not fair and its only going to get worse.

  • lildeb_2007 Jun 29, 2007

    My brother and I worked at the smithfield plant in TarHeel back in 1997. If you knew what really happened to most of the meat in that place, you would never eat meat again. The reason a lot of the people do not get another job is because that is about the only job you can make enough money to support your family in Bladen and surrounding counties. I love Paula Deen, having met her in person, but I do not agree with her supporting Smithfield brand food. The plant does not treat their workers that great. It took forever to get me transferred from cutting neckbones (which has left me with some nerve damage for the rest of my life) to another part of the plant that did not hurt my hands that much. The main focus at the plant is to kill and cut up as many hogs as you can each night.

  • All child molesters should die Jun 29, 2007

    Is this the SAME Smithfield plant that is also running all those commercials about how wonderful it is to work @ Smithfield? They talk about the hard work, but good benefits, medical and college opportunities????

    Please, someone enlighten me and let me know if this is the same Smithfield. It can be confusing.

    Thanks! :-)

  • daMoFo Jun 29, 2007

    If the workers at Smithfirld Foods don't like their jobs, why don't they work somewhere else? They don't work somewhere else because Smithfields is the best job they can get. If there were better oportunities, they would take them. Much of my family worked in the steel industry until the unions hamstrung the companies and drove them into bankruptcy. The unions have nearly done the same thing to our auto industry. When janitors are making $60,000 plus in union auto plants, it's no wonder the companies can't compete.

  • Slip Kid Jun 29, 2007

    'methinks' hits it right on the head. The unions are self serving nowadays and just want to expand the 'club' to earn more dues. Working in meat packing is a tough job and you can't make it pretty by unionizing. I hope the workers there don't think uniionizing is going to solve anything. It'll just be an additional drain on both their and the company's resources and that's a Lose/Lose situation.

  • SANDHILL Jun 29, 2007

    The unions only want more dues paying members, and who wants a union that wants to protect illegals, as shown when raids were made on plants with lots of illegal workers.

  • educationisliberation Jun 29, 2007

    Smithfield's Chicken and BBQ originated in Smithfield, NC. The Smithfield processing plant is located in Tar Heel, NC. Smithfield Hams is a Virginia company. (I know no one mentioned the ham, just thought I'd throw it in.)