Created: June 22, 2020 05:48 PM
(ABC 6 News) - In September of 2019, the UFCW Local 9 labor union in Austin drove a hard bargain at the table with Hormel Foods as workers wanted things such as better healthcare and wages. As a result, next Tuesday the company will open a new health center for its employees.
“That was one of our demands. We had to have primary healthcare for our people,” said Local 9 President Richard Morgan. “It was a very tough negotiation.”
Morgan says he’d been hearing from his members for a while that primary care in Austin was hard to come by.
“You just couldn’t keep a primary care doctor. It was kind of a revolving door at the clinic. The primary care doctor is here one week, the next week they’re gone, everybody is trying to get another primary care doctor,” Morgan said.
Morgan went to bat for the well-being of his members, turning down several contracts with the company before finally coming to an agreement.
Next week, the site will finally open to the 4,700 individuals on the company’s health plans.
“The clinic is available to our team members and their covered dependents age two and older who currently participate in our healthcare plans,” said Janet Hogan Vice President of Human Resources for Hormel Foods.
Hogan says the new facility is a project they’ve had in the works for a couple of years, but the pressure from the union is what ultimately expedited the process.
“The union has been asking for a healthcare clinic for quite some time and during these last negotiations we were able to gain approval to move forward,” Hogan said.
“This is going to be a good thing to help those folks have a stable doctor,” said Morgan.
The center will improve access to high quality, affordable healthcare for Hormel team members, and their families.
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