Rockford still vying for hog plant

Union leader met with mayor last week to discuss concerns about competitor union

Rockford is still in the running for a proposed hog slaughterhouse, processing and cooking facility. However, several sites are being considered after a location on the city’s far west side met stiff resistance in December.

Rockford Mayor Doug Scott met last week with Matt Russo, president of Local 1546 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which is located in Mount Prospect. Russo said the two discussed concerns Russo had about Trim-Rite Food Corporation’s intent to have the National Production Workers Union represent Trim-Right workers.

Russo declined to answer detailed questions about the meeting. James Jendruczek, president of Trim-Rite, is in Amsterdam this week, and was not available for comment, according to his assistant.

Although Russo declined comment about the meeting, he said some of his concerns have been described in Chicago-area newspapers. Chicago Tribune Magazine described the National Production Workers Union in their Sept. 3, 2000, Labor Day article as an “independent union…with a reputation for raiding other unions.”

Winnebago County Board member Mary Ann Aiello (R-9), who has immersed herself in the issue, said “independent union” means the National Production Workers are not affiliated with any national organization, such as AFL-CIO. She also alleged the National Production Workers is regarded as a union that “caters to the company rather than the workers. …They’re known as a company union.”

Tarra Murganelli, administrative assistant for Local 707 of the National Production Workers Union in Chicago, acknowledged they are an independent union. She wasn’t aware of any association with Trim-Rite, and couldn’t comment on Aiello’s characterization of the union.

However, she said she would contact other union officials for clarification on what, if any, association the union has with Trim-Rite. Union representatives did not contact The Rock River Times by time of publication.

Local 707 was one of the subjects of the Chicago Tribune Magazine article, which described the condition of labor unions in the U.S.

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