Student Labor Action Coalition
Pictures from Rayovac Action
by Youssef Sawan
28 Apr 2003
click for larger images:
Jefferson, Wisconsin (April 24, 2002): Striking workers at Tyson Foods in Jefferson publicly called upon Rayovac CEO and Tyson Foods Board of Directors member David A. Jones to fulfill his obligations to the community and meet with them. Despite repeated efforts to open a dialogue between the strikers and the Tyson Foods Board of Directors, David Jones has continuously been "unavailable" to meet with striking families from Jefferson.
"Mr. Jones is failing the community by refusing talk with Tyson families," said Michael Rice, President of UFCW Local 538.
Strikers from Jefferson demonstrated today at the house Jones occupies in Westport. In a solidarity action, the University of Wisconsin Student Labor Action Coalition also demonstrated at Rayovac headquarters in Madison.
In 2002, the Wall St. Journal highlighted Jones and his house in an article titled The CEO's Plush Pad exposing Rayovac's purchase of Jones' $832,000 home. A Rayovac spokesman justified this sweet insider deal by saying it "made good business sense." Rayovac is also the target of a class action lawsuit that charges the company and Jones issued a series of material misrepresentations that artificially lifted the price of Rayovac stock. The lawsuit claims Jones personally pocketed about $8 million from the subsequent sale of Rayovac stock. All this while Rayovac was laying off more than 250 people in the Madison area.
"We are disappointed but not surprised by David Jones' indifference as a Tyson board member," said Rice. "Despite marketing slogans like "It's What your Family Deserves", Tyson Foods and David Jones are proving that workers and their families come last on the Arkansas company's list of priorities," Rice added.
Tyson families have been on strike in Jefferson at the former Doskocil Foods plant since February 28 in an effort to get a contract that sustains their families and protects their standard of living.
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