workers rights

410 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Smithfield, Kenneth Sullivan, Glenn Nunziata, Dhamu Thamodaran, Dennis Organ, Keira Lombardo, Joe Weber, WH Group, Renee Chen

Smithfield CEO must step down!

As of April 27th, nearly 900 workers at Smithfield’s Sioux Falls, SD plant have tested positive for COVID-19, making the plant one of the country’s largest hotspots. Two workers have died so far. Despite workers’ pleas for greater protections, the company failed to act responsibly. Now its employees—and their communities—are paying the ultimate price.  Smithfield’s leadership must be held accountable for this suffering and other injustices they have caused, starting with CEO Kenneth Sullivan.  The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted Smithfield’s refusal to protect worker and consumer health. Smithfield slaughter plant workers describe feeling pressured to come into work even when feeling ill and exhibiting symptoms. One worker in South Dakota told a reporter, “Those people don’t care about us. If you die, they’ll just replace you tomorrow.”  Smithfield’s response to the outbreak?  A spokesperson blamed the “living circumstances in certain cultures” for the mass outbreaks. Instead of taking ownership, Smithfield’s leadership used problematic rhetoric and deflection tactics to get out of protecting their workers. As a North Carolinian, I am deeply familiar with the injustices Smithfield inflicts on the most vulnerable members of society. Here, Smithfield is well known for putting profits over public health. More than 500 North Carolina residents—the vast majority of whom are people of color—have sued the company for subjecting them to the intolerable experience of living next to a mega factory farm. For decades, they’ve endured the unbearable stench of pig waste that is kept in massive, open-air pits then sprayed into the air. Scientists have even documented pig feces on and inside residents’ homes. Smithfield has the power to address these concerns, but it has done nothing. Animals, too, suffer at the hands of this exploitative company. Pigs raised for Smithfield are crammed by the thousands inside filthy factory farms and treated like unfeeling commodities, despite the fact that they are incredibly intelligent and capable of feeling pain. Smithfield claims it is moving away from gestation crates—tiny cages that trap mother pigs, preventing them from even turning around—but investigations reveal they have not kept their promise.  Under Kenneth Sullivan’s leadership, Smithfield is causing extraordinary harm to workers, communities, and animals. This company puts profit above all else and rakes in billions of dollars yearly at the expense of those who have few means to defend themselves.  It’s time we say enough is enough. It’s time for Kenneth Sullivan to step down as CEO.Photo credit: NBC News 

Kelsey Joseph
3,935 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Governer Kim Reynolds

Urgent: Temporarily Close Meat-Packing Plants in Iowa

Several meat-packing facilities have been identified as sources of major covid-19 outbreaks in the state of Iowa. Plant workers are considered "essential", yet their lives and the lives of their families are treated as if they were negligible.  A percentage of patients who will contract this highly infectious disease will suffer severe and fatal complications. The risk of death increases exponentially if our hospital systems are overwhelmed by patients admitted with the disease. Meat-packing plant workers have already died from covid-19 in Iowa.  If we act now, we can mitigate the spread of this infectious disease, which is indeed causing economic uncertainty and hardship, and which is again re-surging. While it will be an economic hardship to those farmers who had expected to turn a profit, if the meat-packing facilities close, the farmers will be able to survive without that revenue for a temporary period. Governor Reynolds cites the critical nature of this production for the food supply, Reynolds seems to forget that reduced pork consumption for food doesn’t equate to life and death.  We have seen the absolute devastation that occurs when effective measures are not taken to contain the disease early.The financial burdens caused by covid-19 will only increase with the new infections. There is no price tag for human life.  Iowans deserve safe working conditions.    Contact Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds: Governor of IowaGov. Kim ReynoldsState Capitol1007 E. Grand Ave.Des Moines, IA 50319Telephone: 515-281-5211Online Contact Information:   

Margaret Klemme
169 supporters