Home Agribusiness Mountaire announces union decertification vote

Mountaire announces union decertification vote

Mountaire announces union decertification vote

According to the National Labor Relations Board, employees at Mountaire’s Selbyville processing plant will get the chance to vote on keeping  United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 27 later this month.

The NLRB had earlier voided a previous election after the union complained it was barred from talking to workers due to Covid issues. A right to work organization claimed harassment by the union.

The right to work  group has pushed for the vote to decertify the union by representing an employee named in the effort.


Another employee petition last month was accepted by the NLRB, which sets in motion the process.

Mountaire, a family-owned company, sent a release announcing the election.

Companies are asked to remain neutral in union votes but employ a number of methods to encourage a  decertification vote.

A powerful tool is reminding employees that they won’t have to pay union dues. Delaware is not a right-to-work state, and employees represented by a union have to pay dues. 

The mail-in ballot will be sent to employees on November 18th and will be due back to the NLRB by December 16th.

“This has been a long process for our employees to have their voices heard,” said Mountaire President Phillip Plylar. “We support our employees and their right to freely choose whether they want a union or not.”

Selbyville is the only union processing plant owned by Mountaire Farms.

Unions have been part of the plant since Mountaire purchased it in 1977.  

The company comes off a successful effort that ended Teamsters Union representation.

Despite the presence of unions, it has been noted that pay scales remain lower in the poultry industry when compared to other areas.

Critics note that poultry plants are staffed by a high percentage of recent immigrants who may be reluctant to speak out on pay or other conditions.

The chicken industry is known for being tight-knit, with executives moving from one company to another and maintaining business relationships.

Lawsuits in Maryland are moving forward involving alleged price fixing and wage fixing by sharing information.  Mountaire was was unsuccessful in getting an exemption from a lawsuit.

Mountaire is owned by an Arkansas family that contributed to organizations supporting former President Trump. 

The Trump administration was accused of neglecting worker safety during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An outbreak of the virus occurred in Sussex County processing plants in April of last year. A younger workforce is believed to have limited the number of deaths from the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control also brought in a team in an effort to control the virus.