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USA: 75% of poultry workers suffer significant work-related injury or illness, says research by Southern Poverty Law Center

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22 March 2013

Poultry industry refutes claims on worker safety [USA]

Author: Meat & Poultry Magazine [USA]

The National Chicken Council and US Poultry & Egg Association released a white paper that challenges claims made by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice about poultry worker safety...[In their] report...the groups claim that poultry workers in Alabama are faced with dangerous working conditions and threats...But the poultry groups say such claims lack perspective... The groups said... “...The poultry industry's injury and illness rates are in line with many other manufacturing industries.” The groups refute other claims about worker safety, line speeds, unionization and other allegations made in the SPLC report. "...[The] poultry industry over the last several decades has focused its energies on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses...," Tom Super, vice president of communications for the NCC, said

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21 March 2013

How the Poultry Industry is Grinding Up Workers’ Health and Rights [USA]

Author: Michelle Chen, In These Times [USA]

According to newly published research on Alabama poultry workers by the civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the business model of the sector has sacrificed health and safety on the factory floor for the…efficiency demanded by American appetites…Nearly three-quarters of the poultry workers interviewed…described suffering some type of significant work-related injury or illness…the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported an injury rate of 5.9 percent for poultry processing workers in 2010, a rate that is more than 50 percent higher than the 3.8 percent injury rate for all U.S. workers. Alabama workers interviewed…reported being routinely subjected to unsafe working conditions that led to severe health threats, from repetitive stress injuries to respiratory issues to chemical burns…employers often ignored workers’ debilitating problems or punished them for asserting their rights.

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