Monday, September 10, 2007


The Teamsters Union and student supporters are hitting the streets today in front of KFC's around the country to protest the treatment of workers at a KFC supplier, National Frozen Foods Corporation (NFFC), and the lack of sanitary conditions at the KFCs themselves.

Over the past three years NFFC at their Chehalis, WA Warehouse has:
* Cut pay by 16%
* Stripped seasonal workers AND retirees of health care
* Increased the number of hours it takes to qualify for health
care, pension benefits and pay increases

According to a leaflet distributed at a rally in Downtown Seattle:
These concessions have hit hardest at those least able to afford them, particularly Latino workers and new hires. A majority of the peak work force is Latino. NFFC has attempted to strip workers of their voice at work twice since 2004. Workers beat back these efforts, voting to keep their union (Teamsters Local 252) on both occasions. On July 14, 2007, NFFC illegally declared bargaining to be at an impasse, and ended their contract with the workers' Union. The Teamsters have filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

Since then, NFFC has denied access to any pension plan for workers aged 18-21, eliminated entry into the defined benefit plan for new hires, stopped the Union grievance process, and put into effect minimal pay increases that come nowhere near making up for recent concessions.

Founded in 1912 by William P. McCaffray, Sr., National Frozen Foods Corporation (NFFC) is a family-owned, private label company whose ties reach around the globe. National Frozen Foods Corporation is headquartered in Seattle, WA, and employs 600 people full time and an additional 1,400 seasonally throughout Washington and Oregon.

NFFC workers process fresh vegetables for freezing and repackaging for such chains as Boston Market, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Wal-Mart, Sysco Foods, ConAgra and Woodstock Farms, as well as producing their own
label, Valamont.

In the meantime, KFC seems to be a leader in health violations at its local operations. For example, these are just some of the problems posted at the blog SICK TO DEATH OF KFC:

In North Carolina, a man claims to have found a smear of human blood in his KFC sandwich

A woman in Texas alleged that KFC served her a cockroach-filled sandwich

MSNBC investigated fast-food restaurants for health code violations and found that “[t]he 100 KFCs we sampled tallied up 157 critical violations, and two thirds of the ‘finger lickin’ good’ restaurants had at least one critical violation.”

A KFC in Indiana was closed down for all of 2006 because the health department said it posed an "imminent health hazard" and was a "potential vector of food borne illness."

A KFC in Knoxville, Tennessee, was recently found to have 42 problems (out of a possible 46 items on the inspection list), including toxic chemicals out of place, chicken cooked at a temperature not high enough to prevent people from getting sick, and dirty containers, work stations, counters, and cups, among other things.

A poor inspection at one KFC in Davenport, Iowa, helped spawn an article with the headline "Trash Cans, Flies and Meat, Oh My!" when flies were found all over a back room. analyzed health inspection reports for more than 200 KFC's in 12 cities. They found the restaurants in these cities averaged more than five critical violations per location – that's a high number of serious problems. If you have the stomach for it check it out by clicking here

And if all of that is not enough, KFC doesn't exactly hit the mark with PETA either. They point out:

KFC suppliers cram birds into huge waste-filled factories, breed and drug them to grow so large that they can’t even walk, and often break their wings and legs. At slaughter, the birds’ throats are slit and they are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious. It would be illegal for KFC to abuse dogs, cats, pigs, or cows in these ways.

KFC’s own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so. Many advisors have now resigned in frustration."

The following is from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Teamsters Tell Colonel Sanders: Stop Your Supplier's War on Workers

Teamsters and student activists will rally today at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants across the country to demand that a key KFC supplier respect the rights of its workers and to urge that the supplier reverse disastrous cuts in health care and retirement benefits, including the elimination of health care benefits for its retirees.

Distributing leaflets drawing attention to a series of health code violations at local KFCs, the union and its community allies are demanding that Seattle-based National Frozen Foods Corporation cease all anti-worker activities at its plant in Chehalis, Washington.

Protests will take place in Washington D.C., California, Washington State, Oregon, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and at a number of universities throughout the U.S.

"We are determined to get the word out about serious health violations at local KFCs and serious labor conditions at National Frozen Foods Corporation," said Fred Gegare, director of the Teamsters food processing division. "These companies are not going to get away with corporate greed in the 21st century. National Frozen Foods picked this fight because of their greed."

National Frozen Foods Corporation supplies KFC with frozen corn-on-the- cob. Since 2004, National Frozen Foods Corporation has cut worker pay by 16 percent, cancelled health care benefits for seasonal workers, and eliminated health care benefits for retirees. These changes have hurt seasonal workers and new employees.

National Frozen Food Corporation has supported two efforts to vote the union out in recent years. The workers defeated these efforts, voting to stay with their union, Teamsters Local 252. In July, the Company cut off negotiations with the union and terminated their contract with workers in violation of U.S. labor law.

"We are asking KFC to honor their moral responsibility to their customers by insuring that KFC suppliers respect U.S. workers fighting to provide a decent living for their families," said Gegare. "We will continue to alert KFC customers to both KFC's health violations and its failure to address NFFC's mistreatment of American workers until these problems are fixed."

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada.

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