Tag archives for poultry workers
Republican proposal to ban unions at the IRS could mean trouble for other federal employees; ExxonMobil refinery in California cited for violations in February explosion; OSHA fines poultry company for “outrageously dangerous” conditions; and a strip club dancer calls for the same protections and respect afforded to other workers.
I’ve got to believe that someone who wants to know that the chicken they’re about to eat was humanely treated would want to know the same thing about the workers who slaughtered and packaged that poultry.
OSHA found what I’d call medical malpractice going on at a nursing station at a Wayne Farms poultry processing plant. The agency called them on it in a letter to firm’s operations manager.
Poultry and meatpacking workers submitted a petition to OSHA in September 2013 asking the agency to issue a regulation to address line speed and other hazards that lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Sixteen months later, they’re still waiting for a response.
After more than a decade, OSHA used its “general duty clause” to issue citations to a poultry processing firm for ergonomic hazards.
The Labor Department convinced USDA to insert some worker safety measures into its new poultry slaughter inspection regulation. Poultry workers hope the measures are more than just words in the Federal Register notice.
For 17 years, Salvadora Roman deboned chickens on the processing line at Wayne Farms in Decatur, Alabama. Because of the repetitive movement and speed of the processing line, Roman developed a chronic and painful hand injury that affects her ability to do even the most basic household chores. About three years ago, she was fired from the plant for taking time off work to visit a doctor for the injury she sustained on the line.
Nine poultry workers filed safety and whistleblower complaints with the Labor Department against the country’s fifth largest poultry company and the temp staffing agency that hired some of them.
Two recent incidents reminded me of what a worker said about “safety talks.”
The Obama Administration still has time to abandon its ill-conceived new regulation on poultry inspection. We’ll see if the Administration decides to treat poultry workers better than the firms that employ them.