poultry processing

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Advocacy group offers recommendations to improve safety of poultry workers

November 18, 2015

Boston – The poultry industry is booming, but workers are still suffering high rates of injuries and illnesses and often experience a climate of fear, according to a new report from advocacy group Oxfam America.

The report, Lives on the Line, provides the following recommendations for poultry industry employers:

  • Healthy and safe workplaces: Set reasonable line speeds, provide sufficient staffing to allow for rest breaks and restroom breaks, and ensure medical care for injured workers.
  • Worker voice and empowerment: Inform employees that they have a voice in the workplace, make sure they know their rights and encourage a tolerant environment in which workers feel comfortable to act on their rights.
  • Fair compensation: Provide workers with a fair wage so they do not have to turn to federal assistance or charity for additional help.

“Poultry workers are among the most vulnerable and exploited workers in the United States,” Oxfam America President Ray Offenheiser said in a press release. “The industry is booming, profits are climbing, but poultry workers remain trapped at the bottom.”