NAACP Advocates with Poultry Workers Against Harmful USDA Rule
Posted on February 26, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is finalizing a rule that would allow poultry plants to increase processing line speeds from 140 birds per minute to 175, a 25% increase.
This rule also decreases the presence of highly-trained federal food inspectors. Thus, the proposed rule poses an increased threat to both poultry workers, who already suffer a disproportionate number of work-related injuries, and consumers. It is set to go into effect in April.
Here are the facts:
77 percent of poultry workers in line jobs reported cumulative trauma disorders in their hands and wrists, according to a 2013 survey by Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed.
42 percent of workers in a South Carolina plant had symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Two-thirds of those workers reported "awakening from sleep because of these symptoms."
We believe that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should not put consumers and food workers in harm’s way.
The NAACP stands with poultry workers to demand that this rule is stopped. We should promote measures that will improve safety and health in poultry and meatpacking workplaces.