The Real Price Of Cheep Chicken
The chicken industry in America is at its peak. Americans consume 30% more than what they did 20 years ago! Demand for chicken has never been at it’s highest in history. Consumers want it, and they want it cheap.
The four poultry giants — Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Sanderson Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride — have made quantity their biggest priority. As a result, it is the workers of the chicken industry that are feeling the weight of the demand falling upon their shoulders. Long shifts, back aches, single half-hour breaks and a wage of less than $10 is the life of many people working int he poultry industry.
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According to a report titled “No Relief: Denial of Bathroom Breaks in the Poultry Industry”, the pressure that line workers are under is so great and they are routinely denied bathroom breaks just to meet the demands of their superiors.
“I had to wear Pampers,” one worker told Oxfam. “I, and many, many others had to wear Pampers.”
In order to avoid urinating or defecating on the floor, many workers are forced to wear diapers while working. The only way to go to the bathroom is to find a replacement for you, which can take hours and sometimes a replacement is never found. The only window of opportunity these line workers have of using the bathroom is their 30-minute long lunch break. During this time, they have to eat their meal, go to the bathroom and undress from their work gear. After they do their business, they have to get back into their work gear and be at it again on the lines.
A worker named Susana spoke with VICE news on the subject. She was one of the 200 workers affected by a chlorine gas leak in 2011 at Tyson. She has had respiratory problems ever since the incident but has had to stay working at Tyson since they provide her with medical aid. She also has 2 children that she needs to provide for.
“They are told they shouldn’t drink a lot of water so they don’t need to go to the bathroom,” Susana said.
We pray that these food giants start to take the worker’s limits into consideration. No human being should be overworked to the point of not being able to go to the bathroom. It is sad that they work 60+ hours a week to create food enough for the whole world, but that doesn’t get to reach the starving people of the world.
Article: Vice News