The Food and Allied Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO has today charged in a letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission that Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE: SFD) failed to file required SEC disclosure reports regarding the demotion of its President and Chief Operating Officer Lewis R. Little.

Lewis R. Little had been a Director of the Company since 1993, and was President and COO since 1996. However, in a sentence embedded in its most recent SEC filings, Smithfield revealed that Mr. Little no longer acts in any of these capacities. The Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO (FAST) is asking the SEC to investigate the circumstances surrounding this change in company leadership.

"While we do not know whether the circumstances surrounding Mr. Little's demotion were the result a dispute or disagreement with Mr. Luter or the other directors, we do know that the positions he occupied are critically important to the Company's operations," states Mark A. Anderson, President of FAST, in the letter.

Joseph Luter, Smithfield's CEO and Chairman of the Board, has assumed the role of President. The company has not disclosed the name of the new COO.

The company also failed to disclose that director nominee Wendell Murphy is currently a director of Centura Bank. Mr. Murphy had been a Smithfield Director until his abrupt resignation in May 1998.

This is not the first time that Smithfield Foods has been accused of running afoul of SEC regulations. In February 1999, FAST filed a complaint with the SEC over the company's refusal to disclose the reasons for the resignations of Mr. Murphy and another director in the spring of 1998. Then in August 1999, FAST opposed the reelection of a director, commodities analyst Joel Greenberg, who had been sanctioned by the SEC for securities laws violations. Mr. Greenberg was dropped from the board prior to the company's annual meeting last year. FAST also challenged Smithfield on the fact that its Board of Directors was majority insiders. The company announced a restructuring of its board in January of this year.

The Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO is a shareholder of Smithfield Foods Common stock and wrote the letter to the SEC in this capacity. Under SEC regulations, Smithfield may be required to re- solicit its proxy votes, and could face further enforcement actions such as fines or censure.