USA: Worker-based organisation calls on poultry producers to provide paid leave benefits & safe working conditions; incl. company responses
With almost 30,000 workers, poultry processing is the fifth largest employer in Arkansas and is responsible for more than 10% of US poultry meat. Venceremos, a worker-based organization in Arkansas whose mission is to ensure the human rights of poultry workers, is calling on chicken producers to do more to protect their workers from COVID-19. This includes provides all workers with paid sick leave, whether they’re infected or quarantined. Venceremos has heard from poultry plant workers that they do not feel safe going to work and cannot stay home because they need the income.
Venceremos is demanding that Tyson Foods, George’s Co, Simmons Foods, Ozark Mountain Poultry, and Cargill provide paid leave benefits for workers and hazard pay for risking their lives as COVID-19 rapidly spreads in their communities.
We invited Tyson Foods, George's (of which Ozark Mountain Poulty is part), Simmons Foods and Cargill to respond. Tyson, George's, and Simmons responded and their responses are available below. Cargill did not respond.