It was close, but in the end, the Smithfield packing plant in Tar Heel is going union. The results were released Thursday night. The tally was 2,041 to 1,879 in favor of the United Food and Commercial Workers; just a 162 vote margin. The UFCW has tried since the plant opened 16 years ago to win the right to represent the Tar Heel workers. This is the world's largest hog processing plant. The Bladen County facility processes up to 32,000 live hogs a day into plate-ready pork. The election comes as part of a settlement in a racketeering lawsuit the company filed against the union last year.
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