Country Natural Beef calls off vote on union

Jeff Barnard / The Associated Press /

Published Nov 7, 2008 at 04:00AM

GRANTS PASS — Country Natural Beef has called off an election to settle whether workers at feedlots that handle their cattle want to join a union.

The 85 workers at Beef Northwest Feeders feedlots in Nyssa, Boardman and Quincy, Wash., were scheduled to start voting today, but Stacey Davies, a member of the board of the beef cooperative, said the vote was canceled because the feedlot had reached a settlement with the United Farmworkers Union.

John Wilson, managing partner of Beef Northwest, acknowledged they have reached a “tentative agreement settling our labor dispute.”

The Farmworkers has said it has signed cards from a majority of the workers saying they wanted the union to represent them in contract talks.

Beef Northwest had disputed the validity of the cards. Country Natural Beef set up the election to settle the question.

Country Natural Beef is a marketing cooperative that represents more than 90 ranches across the West. The cooperative was a pioneer in the movement to raise beef following sustainable grazing practices, and is certified to be free of hormones and antibiotics.