For $50, you may go to your native grocery retailer and, relying on the worth, choose up half a dozen or so packages of good-quality sausage hyperlinks.
Or, you may take $50 and pay a yr’s severance for a employee at Saag’s Merchandise, the longtime Bay Space sausage firm that’s shuttering its San Leandro plant.
Smithfield Meals, the Virginia-based proprietor of Saag’s — which has produced sausages at its facility at 1799 Issue St. in San Leandro for 45 years and dates again to 1933 — is closing its Bay Space operations on June 28. For the manufacturing unit’s 81 employees, the indignity of dropping their jobs is compounded by what their union consultant calls a disrespectful means for Smithfield to indicate its sentiment for these workers.
“We anticipated they had been going to be cheap firm,” mentioned John Nunes, president of United Meals and Industrial Employees Native 5, the union representing Saag’s workers. “A number of them have greater than 15 or 20 years service right here. And (Smithfield) advised us that on a philosophical stage, they don’t imagine in paying severance.”
Saag’s workers held a walkout on the San Leandro facility beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Nunes mentioned the Saag’s workers had been notified roughly 60 days in the past about Smithfield’s plan to shut the San Leandro location and transfer manufacturing of Saag’s sausages to a different location close to Los Angeles. Smithfield seems to have modified its thoughts on the severance concern, however solely within the barest of phrases.
Based on the memo, of which this information group obtained a duplicate, Smithfield is providing workers with zero to 4 years of expertise what it calls a “lump sum bonus fee” of $500. Primarily based on that fee, working 4 years at Saag’s will get you the equal of $125 a yr as a “bonus.”
Employees with 5 to 15 years of service can get $750. So, workers who put in 15 years would acquire $50 for every year of stuffing bratwurst into Saag’s packages.
Sixteen years will get workers $1,000, or $62.50 for every year on the plant. Anybody working greater than 16 years is eligible for that very same $1,000. So somebody who labored for 30 years at Saag’s would obtain $33.33 for every year on the manufacturing unit.
Really, Saag’s employees would possibly get a bit lower than these yearly averages: Smithfield mentioned it could embody any accrued sick pay as a part of workers’ “bonus” packages. Then once more, Smithfield was fast to remind its workers that each one “bonus” payouts had been thought-about taxable revenue. That 30-year worker isn’t going to get even $33.33 a month for his efforts.
In a press release, Keira Lombardo, Smithfield’s govt vice chairman of company affairs and compliance, didn’t handle the severance concern. Nonetheless, she mentioned Smithfield is a “people-oriented firm” and had “partnered with the Workforce Improvement Board and had them onsite on the finish of Could to elucidate all of the assets obtainable to impacted workers via CalJOBS.”
Nunes, the union consultant, mentioned that Smithfield refused to offer its soon-to-be-laid-off Saag’s workers any additional help equivalent to COBRA advantages, which permit laid-off workers to retain their firm’s insurance coverage protection for a restricted period of time.
“We actually pleaded with them to offer help on COBRA advantages,” Nunes mentioned. “In a state of affairs like this, they wouldn’t give (Saag’s workers) any help. They mentioned the 60-day discover was a type of advantages.”