Smithfield has described the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) international union’s decision to appeal against a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling announced on Monday (11 September) as “sheer hypocrisy”.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had overturned a judge’s order requiring Smithfield to bargain with a union at its Wilson, North Carolina facility in the US.

Smithfield today said that the union had previously attacked Smithfield itself for appealing an NLRB decision.

“This is truly an ironic twist,” said Dennis Pittman, Smithfield Packing director of communications. “For years the union has viciously attacked Smithfield for appealing decisions by administrative law judges and the NLRB. Now, the union has done the very same thing.”

Smithfield added that the union’s appeal to the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia could delay resolution for another nine months to a year, and has invited the union to drop its appeal and join the company in scheduling an election at the plant.