Whether it’s pushing to increase line speeds in chicken processing facilities to dizzying speeds or trying to get a “liability shield” included in coronavirus relief bills to avoid accountability for pushing sick workers to come to work, corporations spare no expense to protect their bottom line.
Factory farms are unhealthy and stressful work environments. Workers are subjected to increased exposure to air pollutants, including particulate matter carrying mold, animal dander and pathogens. Exposure to these pollutants can lead to respiratory illness. An estimated one-quarter of hog confinement workers suffer from chronic bronchitis.
They are also astonishingly unsafe workplaces. In 2016, 6 out of every 100 workers in the animal production industry reported a work-related injury or illness. Tyson meatpacking plants reported on average one amputation per month in the first nine months of 2015. Across the county, regulations to prevent workplace injuries have not kept pace with the rapid growth of factory farms. Idaho had two deaths in 2016 caused by workers falling into dairy manure ponds. In both cases, federal regulators fined the dairies just $5,000
This is all in the name of profits, and it simply isn’t acceptable.
Food & Water Watch organizes people to fight this reckless disregard for the safety of workers in the food system. We hold corporations accountable and demand public agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture do the jobs they were instituted to do — protect the people.
Tell the USDA it’s not safe to increase line speeds in meat packing plants!