Hershey Employees in Virginia Consider Unionizing

Feb. 22, 2022
Employees at a Hershey Co. plant in Virginia are about to vote on unionization amid complaints of inequitable and harsh treatment by management.

Employees at a Hershey Co. plant in Virginia are about to vote on unionization amid complaints of inequitable and harsh treatment by management.

Workers at the plant in Stuarts Draft, Va., say they have been forced to work as many as 72 consecutive days. Time off was not allowed unless a worker made her own arrangements with coworkers to cover her shifts. Others complained of a two-tiered structure for pay and benefits.

The workers will vote on whether to join the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union (BTGCM), which has led several recent high-profile strikes in the food industry, including against Kellogg Co. Hershey is launching a blitz against unionization, setting up an anti-union website accusing BTCGM of “criminal activity.”

One worker accused Hershey of firing her because of her unionization efforts. "They obviously had people or agents watching our Facebook posts or our social media," she told Newsweek.

Voting on unionization at the Stuarts Draft plant is scheduled to begin this week, with the results being counted on March 24.

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