Good News for Poultry Processing Workers

It’s not all bad news for workers out there. Curiously, however, the good news for poultry workers is coming from an uncharacteristic place: the Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA has denied an petition from the National Chicken Council asking to let meatpackers operating under a new inspection system to run their plants “at any line…

American Nightmare: Wading Through Floating Fat and Chicken Guts While Machines Snap off Workers’ Arms

Peter Waldman, along with Kartikay Mehrotra have continued Bloomberg Businessweek’s amazing — and amazingly disturbing — coverage of the underbelly of the American workplace jungle in 2017. This piece, “America’s Worst Graveyard Shift Is Grinding Up Workers,” describes the horrible work-lives of a beleaguered population of mostly invisible immigrant workers who labor all night, in working…

OSHA Rejects GAO Poultry Recommendations: Sees No Problem With Workers’ Restroom Access

In a surprising and disappointing apparent rollback of OSHA’s enforcement policy related to poultry inspections, Acting Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt has rejected recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) designed to address findings that poultry workers are intimidated about reporting health and safety problems to OSHA, particularly about their inability to get bathroom breaks. The GAO…

Murray, DeLauro Call on USDA to Reject Chicken Council’s Petition to Increase Line Speeds

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Member of the House Labor Appropriations Committee, today sent a sharply worded letter to Carmen Rottenberg, acting head of USDA’s Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) calling on the agency to reject a petition…

Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Battle for Workplace Safety: Short Stuff

The Scott Mugno Show: Reviews continue to dribble in about Trump’s nomination of Scott Mugno to head OSHA.  Katie Tracy at the Center for Progressive Reform lays out a number of  questions that Mugno needs to answer when he goes before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for his confirmation hearing. Questions like…

Disabled, Used Up and Discarded: And Conditions for Poultry Workers May Get Worse

Normally, I’d say anyone with half a brain and a bit of a moral compass would see this as a problem in need of a humane solution: When Oscar arrived in Alabama from Miami, he had hoped to apply the mechanical engineering skills he’d learned in Cuba to his new job at a poultry processing…

Chickens, Hurricanes and OSHA Penalties: Media Interest in Workplace Safety

One would think with monster hurricanes, threatened nuclear war with North Korea, plans to deport some of America’s best young folk to foreign lands, Russians undermining our already fragile election system and right-wing, family-values-defending Senators accidentally “liking” pornography on Twitter — little issues like workplace safety and health wouldn’t be getting much attention from the…

Dispatches from the Front of the War on Worker Safety: Short Stuff

Major, Radioactive Oops:  More than 30 nuclear experts inhaled uranium after radiation alarms and ventilation systems at a Department of Energy weapons site were switched off.  The incident raises significant questions about safety in the nation’s premier nuclear labs: “not only were the labs’ procedures and responses riddled with errors, but even after attention was…

Short Stuff: More Problems for Construction, Poultry Processing, Farms and Whistleblowers. So why doesn’t anyone want to work at DOL?

Do Not Pass go:  The New York Times reports that “the owner of two Brooklyn construction companies was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday because the authorities said he ignored complaints about a poorly maintained retaining wall that collapsed at a work site in 2015, killing an 18-year-old laborer and injuring two others.” Small Farms Don’t…