After three months of bargaining, the 1,000 or so workers at Smithfield Foods' John Morrell plant in Sioux City, Iowa, have reached a 4.5-year contract agreement. 
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1142 represented the workers and announced the settlement this week.

Under the agreement, plant workers will receive $1.50-per-hour base-wage increases during the life of the contract for production workers and $1.65-per-hour base-wage increases for plant maintenance workers. It contract settlement also increases sick pay, maintains pension security and offers affordable health care, with no co-premium increases in the first or last half year of the contract, UFCW officials point out.