Community organizing: Racketeering, extortion

Related UFCW-Smithfield Foods stories: here
More RICO stories: here

RICO trial has UFCW on defense

Smithfield Foods' racketeering and extortion lawsuit against a union is headed to trial in federal court in Richmond. U.S. District Judge Robert Payne rejected the United Food and Commercial Workers International's motion for a ruling in its favor Tuesday. He also struck down some of the defenses the union wanted to use at trial.

Smithfield claims the union illegally used boycotts, a negative public relations campaign and other tactics in an attempt to force the company to allow unionization at its massive hog-slaughtering plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina.

The union says it did nothing wrong in applying economic pressure to persuade the union to allow a fair union election at the plant.


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