Union meets with ConAgra officials

It’s been nearly three months since ConAgra officials traveled to Fredonia on March 19 to tell some 450 Carriage House employees their facilities in Fredonia and Dunkirk would be closed in early 2015.

ConAgra officials were back in the area Wednesday to meet with representatives from SEIU Local 266 NCFO, the union representing most of the workers at the Carriage House. Union sources said negotiations with ConAgra officials on how the closing would affect the workers, including severance packages along with other items, would be continuing after Wednesday.

“We do not have a comment at this point, but we should be releasing a statement when everything is resolved,” union representative and retired Carriage House worker Robert Dando said Wednesday night. “The talks are ongoing and we will be settling things.”

Dando predicted negotiations should conclude “fairly soon.” He added he would like to thank the community for all the support workers have been given since they learned they were losing their jobs.

Carriage House employees, along with local, state and federal elected officials, have been making efforts to reach an agreement with ConAgra to allow the facility to be used for a future business or industry.

On May 29, a rally attended by several hundred people was held in Fredonia’s Barker Common in support of ConAgra allowing the Carriage House facility to be available for future use, along with helping the employees move forward.

Dando, when asked if he believed the rally is aiding with the current negotiations with ConAgra, said he thinks it did help out.

SEIU Local 266 NCFO President Tom Dickerson told people who attended the rally about the previous meeting with ConAgra.

“The only meeting the union had with ConAgra was on March 19, when several ConAgra officials showed up with their armed guards telling about 450 people they were losing their jobs,” he said.

According to ConAgra’s website, the company is a Fortune 500 company with net sales totaling approximately $16 billion, while employing more than 36,000 people.

OBSERVER Staff Writer Greg Fox contributed to this report. Send comments to