Union meatpackers at 12 plants of Wilson Foods Corporation, the nation's largest processor of pork, went on strike Saturday to protest wage and benefits cuts. The company made the cuts in April, when it sought protection under federal bankruptcy laws.
More than 4,000 workers represented by the AFL-CIO United Food & Commercial Workers demanded the reinstatement of wage rates in contracts canceled by Wilson. The company said the reductions of about 40 percent must stand if the meatpacker is to survive.
Meanwhile, United Automobile Workers strikers ended a short walkout at John Deere & Co. plants in eight states. The settlement continues cost-of-living adjustments, but contains no wage increases. The International Union of Electrical Workers ended a 109-day strike against Whirlpool Corporation in Evansville, Ind. Workers won annual raises totaling 68 cents an hour over four years, but also accepted a limit on cost-of-living increases.