Poultry workers in Central Minnesota demand safe work environments from their employer, Pilgrim’s Pride. The employees complain of workplace injury problems and safety violations, such as line speed, that makes their jobs dangerous. The workers also rallied against religious discrimination and unfair firing of employees, as well as the company not adhering to bathroom break rules. The workers fear that their jobs in the poultry processing plant are creating people with disabilities and occupation-related health issues that compromise their ability to live sustainable lives.
The workers asserted that they appreciate Pilgrim’s Pride offering them jobs but ask management to address safety and health concerns. They believe slower line speeds will limit the number of workplace injuries at the facility, and they request medical care to be provided immediately after incidents that cause injuries. They also seek accommodation when necessary after events of occupational injuries.
The employees accuse the company of prioritizing profits over employee safety because little attention is paid to wet floors, line speeds, musculoskeletal injuries, chemical spills and the inadequate skill level of employees. Furthermore, workers claim to experience fear of being fired, and they feel intimidated when they report injuries to their supervisors. This causes many injuries to go unreported, leaving employees to work while they are ill or in pain.
The poultry processing industry has long been known as hazardous, and although there has been some improvement, workers continue to suffer preventable injuries. Any victim of a workplace injury is entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney who has experience dealing with the Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance program can be of significant help. Legal counsel can assist with the claims to obtain maximum applicable benefits.