ConAgra rally today in Fredonia’s Barker Common at 5 p.m.

Members of Local 266 of National Conference of Firemen and Oilers SEIU 32BJ and local business owners, faith and labor leaders and community members are gathering today at 5 p.m. in Barker Common, Fredonia to ask ConAgra Foods for dignity and justice as they move operations out of Chautauqua County.

Hundreds of ConAgra employees and the Coalition for Strong Communities – made up of more than 40 local businesses and community organizations concerned about the closing’s communitywide impact – are asking that ConAgra:

Maintain some portion of its operations in the community;

Provide a fair severance package to the people who have given their lives to this plant that will allow them to maintain a decent life in our community and allow them time to look for employment;

Allow the sale of the unused facilities to any new prospective buyers without any strings attached so our community will have a fighting chance to maintain good local jobs.

“We are asking ConAgra to do right by the employees, the community and all of Chautauqua County,” stated Tom Dickerson, Local 266 President and employee of 32 years. “I’ve worked at this plant for decades, like most of my co-workers. All we’re asking is to be treated fairly. A corporation shouldn’t wipe out a community and just walk away.”

Two hundred people are expected to attend the rally in Barker Common and will hear from many of those affected by this closing, including workers, labor leaders, business owners, faith leaders, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, and Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe.