About 200 union supporters gathered over the weekend in Austin to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 10-month-long Hormel strike.
Local P-9 union members were joined by other union supporters to remember the strike that split the community in 1985.
Some said it was like a family reunion, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin:
“Everybody here would help everybody else,” said Gary Zech, who worked at Hormel for more than 19 years before the labor dispute began in 1985. “You always knew you had a friend,” he said. “You always knew there was somebody who felt the same way.”
Union advocate Ray Rogers, who hadn’t been back to Austin in 15 years, praised the workers who stood up to the big company for so long:
“These workers showed great ability to win against a greater force,” Rogers said. “This was a group of people who stood with more dignity and integrity than I’ve ever seen.”
Rogers told the paper: “This P-9 fight showed the highest point in the movement for all workers. Everybody talks about corporate greed now. We recognized corporate greed back then.”