August 31, 2007
Some 800 trade unionists, students, clergy, and labor activists from across the East Coast joined 50 workers from the errant Tar Heel plant for a major demonstration outside the Smithfield shareholders meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia on Wednesday.
Among the union members who took time off on Wednesday to make the trip was a large delegation of Autoworkers from the Cleveland, Gastonia, and Mt Holly UAW locals.
The day started with a rally at First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, with speakers including the Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, who revealed that Smithfield had sent a $1,000 to their Fayetteville chapter – a contribution they promptly returned. “Our dignity is not for sale. We don’t want pork. We don’t want pork money. We just want people to be treated right,” he added.
State Fed officer MaryBe McMillan also rode the bus to Williamsburg, where she addressed the rally. “When workers, clergy and activists come together like they have today with a common message and a common goal, we are a powerful force,” McMillan said.
Several news outlets were on hand to cover the event, including a staff writer who wrote a fine piece for the Fayetteville Observer. For more coverage of the event, check out this list from Google News.