The fight between Smithfield and the United Food and Commercial Workers over unionizing the Tar Heel hog processing plant has entered a new phase. A federal judge in Virginia has allowed a lawsuit filed by Smithfield to go forward.
The suit accuses the UFCW of a coordinated public smear campaign. It uses the RICO statutes that were created to fight organized crime. The lawsuit is the latest step in a confrontation that has slowly been moving out of the plant itself and into the kitchens and living rooms of consumers.