May 16, 2016 – A report published by the charitable organization, OxFam has exposed a pattern of widespread employee abuse inside America’s major food producers. Typically, these already low-wage, high-stress industrial food processing jobs, overwhelmingly filled with immigrant labor, subject employees to unsafe, unsanitary and generally appalling working conditions. More alarming are recent revelations that workers in these poultry processing plants are routinely denied basic needs including even taking restroom breaks. According to the OxFam report, workers fear retaliation or even termination to the extent that some have opted to wear adult undergarments choosing to relieve themselves as they stand at their work stations rather than risk missing a “100+ chicken per minute” production quota.
“I had to wear Pampers.”
“I had to wear Pampers,” a worker identified as Dolores stated in the damning report called “No Relief.” “I and many, many others had to wear Pampers.”
OxFam has called out Tyson Foods, one of the largest the poultry companies, in a social media shaming campaign. Using the hashtag #GiveThemABreak, the campaign aims to force a change in policy among these conglomerates and give thousands of employees basic dignity. The Twitterverse did not respond kindly to the charges with some calling for a boycott of Tyson and still others being more direct about Tyson’s bathroom policies.
Corporate communiqués from Tyson and other food processors like Sanderson Farms, Purdue and Pilgrim’s Pride deny the allegations in OxFam’s report and assert their commitment to the health & safety of their employee’s. These companies have long been criticized for worker’s advocacy groups deem the exploitative and unethical treatment of workers who are responsible for a large percentage of the food products taken to market. In its defense, Purdue Farms went on to say in a statement:
“If an associate has a health or other reason why they need more frequent restroom breaks, they can visit the onsite Wellness Center for support services or talk with Human Resources to request an accommodation for their condition.”
Poultry workers reported anonymously that management advised them to eat and drink less in order to avoid the need to go to the bathroom. None of the companies named in the OxFam report offered comment on the health effects of such a proposal.
You make the call. Poultry workers being forced to wear diapers to meet their quota – Funny or Offensive? VOTE and COMMENT below…