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USA: Meat & poultry workers experience dangerous working conditions & high rates of injury; incl. company responses

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 10 September 2019

Trump administration policies threaten to worsen the already dangerous conditions for meatpacking workers in the United States, Human Rights Watch said... [The report]... describes alarmingly high rates of serious injury and chronic illness among workers at chicken, hog, and cattle slaughtering and processing plants... [N]early all the interviewed workers identified production speed as the factor that made their job dangerous... Under President Donald Trump, the US government is weakening oversight of meat and poultry companies, which could further undermine workers’ right to safe and healthy working conditions in the process.

... Most workers in the industry are people of color, many are women, and nearly one-third are immigrants... Workers, particularly in poultry plants, were also exposed to irritating chemicals that can cause chronic respiratory and other health issues... The chicken, pork, and beef from meat and poultry slaughtering and processing plants in the United States enter the supply chains of innumerable other businesses, including grocery stores and restaurants, that either purchase these products directly through contracts or from suppliers. These businesses should also conduct human rights due diligence and examine their supply chains to ensure that the abuses of workers’ rights documented in this report are not present in the establishments of their suppliers. 

Read the full post here

Related companies: Cargill Hormel JBS National Beef Perdue Pilgrim's (part of JBS) Sanderson Farms Smithfield Foods Tyson