Tag: Meat Packing

Teresa’s Story: Crippling work speeds lead to permanent pain and injuries

Note: As we reported last week, meatpacking and poultry workers, Nebraska Appleseed, the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, and Southern Poverty Law Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 25. The Commission is investigating crippling injuries and human rights abuses in U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities. Petitioners called for better U.S. government policies to protect… Read more →

Nebraska Workers to Testify to International Human Rights Commission

Over the last couple of years we have kept you informed on the high rates of crippling injuries in meatpacking and poultry processing and our fight against the USDA’s dangerous Poultry Rule, which will further increase work speeds and remove federal food safety inspectors, posing great dangers to food and workers’ safety. Washington Post: “Poultry workers take fight to Capitol… Read more →

RELEASE: Congressional Leaders, Poultry Workers Urge the Administration to Take Action to stop harmful USDA Poultry Rule

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bennie Thompson and other congressional leaders joined poultry workers today urging the Administration to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from allowing poultry plants to increase processing line speeds – a decision likely to lead to more worker injuries and threaten food safety in Nebraska and across the country. The USDA plans to enact new regulations… Read more →

Increased line speeds means more risk to food and worker safety

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has published a compelling piece today by Ted Genoways who examines the work and food safety issues of five U.S. pork plants that have been participating in a pilot program that increases the processing line’s work speed and reduces the number of federal inspectors, including the Hormel plant in Fremont, Nebraska. This pilot program is identical to the… Read more →

USDA continues to push for dangerous poultry rule in spite of mounting evidence

Dr.Celeste Monforton, a health and safety expert who writes at The Pump Handle, a health and safety blog, wrote a superb post last week that expresses disbelief at the USDA’s insistence – in the face of extensive and contradictory evidence – that the poultry rule will improve food safety. Dr. Monforton lists all of the evidence that has piled up… Read more →

Civil Rights Groups Urge OSHA, USDA to Protect Poultry, Meatpacking Plant Workers

Workers Suffer Injuries, Illnesses Due to Punishing Processing Line Speeds A coalition of civil rights groups filed a formal petition today urging the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to better protect workers in poultry and meatpacking plants where federal policies allow workers to operate in hazardous conditions that often leave them… Read more →

Harper’s Magazine goes undercover at Nebraska meatpacking plant

Over the weekend, the Lincoln Journal Star published an article about Tom Conover, an award-winning journalist, who went “undercover” as a USDA inspector in a Nebraska meatpacking plant and has recounted his experience in the May 2013 cover story for Harper’s Magazine. (Conover’s article, “The Way of All Flesh”, is available online with a Harper’s subscription.) During his time at… Read more →

“It’s a house of pain in there.” A major new report on worker and food safety

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed released Unsafe at These Speeds, a major new report that exposes the dangers poultry plants pose to consumer and worker health — dangers likely to intensify under proposed regulatory changes for the industry. Modeled after Nebraska Appleseed’s 2009 meatpacking safety study, The Speed Kills You, this new study provides the next… Read more →

Take Action! 1/3 of a Second Isn’t Long Enough to Keep Food and Workers Safe

As Thanksgiving preparations begin, take just a moment to help stop a proposed new rule that would make food and workers less safe next year. A new rule proposed by the USDA would increase line speed in poultry plants, giving inspectors only 1/3 of a second to inspect each chicken — risking your food and workers’ safety. Help stop the… Read more →

New report highlights dangerous working conditions in Midwest meat and poultry plants

A coalition of more than 50 Midwest human rights organizations, including Nebraska Appleseed, released a new report today that confirms dangerous conditions still exist for food and worker safety in meat and poultry processing plants. The report, titled “Always Working Beyond the Capacity of Our Bodies: Meat and Poultry Processing Work Conditions and Human Rights in the Midwest,” summarizes in-depth… Read more →

An Insider’s Perspective on the Proposed USDA Poultry Rule

Last week, we wrote about our concerns with the proposed new USDA rule for poultry processing.  The new rule would drastically increase the speeds on the production line at which plants are allowed to run, which would make an already dangerous workplace even more unsafe.  It would give inspectors only one-third of a second to inspect birds for diseases and… Read more →

While Studies Show Line Speed Is Crippling Poultry Workers, USDA Proposes Doubling the Allowable Speed

As we have heard from hundreds of people who work in meat and poultry processing, “the speed kills you.” Relentless work speed and thousands of repetitive motions cause workers’ hands to swell with pain and later lead to permanently crippling injuries. Workers are told they have to “learn to live with the pain,” and many undergo multiple surgeries on their… Read more →

Nebraska Workers’ Compensation System Should Help, Not Drive Away, Workers

LB 1012 undermines the wise purpose of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation system by tipping the scales against injured employees. Upholding the system is important for all of us. We have a public interest in ensuring that employers maintain safe workplaces. We also have a public interest in preventing the cost of workplace injuries from spilling over onto Nebraska communities, families,… Read more →

“Come to the plant and you will see”: Meatpacking Workers Want You to Know About Unsafe Conditions

Last week we released a major study of meatpacking workers’ perspectives of health and safety conditions in the industry, surveying 455 workers in one of the country’s biggest meat-producing states: “The Speed Kills You”: The Voice of Nebraska’s Meatpacking Workers. Nebraska produces one of every four steaks and hamburgers in the country. Official statistics already show that injury rates in… Read more →