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Smithfield files federal racketeering lawsuit against union

RALEIGH (AP) -- A union representative says the timing of a lawsuit filed by Smithfield Foods shows the company was never negotiating in good faith to hold organizing elections at its plant in Tar Heel. The company filed a racketeering lawsuit against the United Food and Commercial Workers union today, accusing it of waging a smear campaign that included frivolous regulatory investigations and lies told to analysts aimed at depressing the company's stock. Union spokesman Gene Bruskin noted that the complex, 100-page lawsuit was filed only two days after election negotiations broke down, demonstrating that the company never had any intention of working with the union. Bruskin said it's a shame that Smithfield is choosing to pay powerful lawyers at a time when its employees are fighting for safe working conditions and adequate medical insurance. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Always long on rhetoric, but short on facts.