Stop ignoring dangerous working conditions in your chicken factories

Stop ignoring dangerous working conditions in your chicken factories

November 4, 2015
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This petition had 36,500 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Pedro Lopez

For a time, my mom and I worked at a Tyson chicken plant. I’ve had many hard, physically demanding jobs, but none was as brutal as this one. We got injured, sick, overworked, underpaid, and mistreated, all in the name of speed and profit.  When my mom and I learned about workers’ basic rights to safe conditions under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we decided to educate our co-workers about them. Sadly, Tyson Foods fired us after that. They said they didn’t need us anymore, but we think it was because we spoke up about our dangerous workplace.

Please sign my petition calling for better working conditions in Tyson poultry facilities. Workers should not have to endure painful injuries simply for doing their job.

The hours of forceful, repetitive motion required to cut out chickens’ shoulders and tenders led to problems with my hands. They swelled so badly, I needed a larger size of plastic glove, and even they didn’t fit. It was miserable, because the line speed was supposed to be 39 chickens per minute, but my supervisors increased it to 50 per minute.

I also developed a problem with my prostate because I was not allowed to take adequate bathroom breaks. I drank less water so I’d need the bathroom less often, but then I became so dehydrated that my potassium levels dropped and I had terrible leg cramps. I saw people pee on themselves because management would not allow them to take a bathroom break. It’s inhumane.

I informed the plant managers about my injuries and asked for a different position so I could heal. They said it was all in my head. I also asked the company to file a report about these injuries, to consider workers’ compensation, and allow me to see a specialist. They refused every request, and threatened to fire me if I went to see an outside orthopedist.

At the infirmary in the plant, the nurse told me to take ibuprofen and sent me back to the line. When I finally managed to see the company doctor, he told me that I had come just in time because I could have suffered permanent damage or lost use of a hand altogether.

With work conditions this bad, actual lives are on the line. That's why I’m working with Oxfam America to raise awareness about this issue and call for better treatment of workers in the poultry industry.

Please sign my petition. Workers in the poultry industry deserve fair compensation, a healthy and safe workplace, and a true voice for our concerns.

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