RICHMOND, Va. – Smithfield Foods’ racketeering lawsuit against a union goes to trial Monday in federal court in Richmond, reports said.

The lawsuit is related to the United Food and Commercial Workers International’s attempts to unionize Smithfield’s pork processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C.

Smithfield has claimed that the union used economic threats including product boycotts, publicity campaigns and interference in the company's contractual relationships in an attempt to force the company to unionize. The company claimed the actions amounted to extortion and cost Smithfield about $900 million.

Union attorneys have reportedly said using economic pressure to achieve a lawful purpose is not extortion.


Source: Associated Press