In 2004, after slipping on a greasy floor at a massive poultry plant in Russellville, Alabama, Dolores Smith was sent home by the company nurse with (get this…) ibuprofen. When she got to her car she noticed that pieces of bone were sticking out of her sock, which had been broken in three places.
This is the beginning of an incredible story of union organizing which recently reached its culmination with a major organizing victory assisted by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). After years of battle between management and employees which included multiple losses and setbacks for workers, a victory was finally achieved — along with lessons from previous failures such as the need to build bridges with Spanish speaking employees.
Alternet took an in-depth look at this victory with Forced to Work on a Broken Ankle? Workers Defy Abusive Supervisors for Big Union Win, a veritable must-read.
Kudos to writer Gabriel Thompson.