You may have heard that the USDA has proposed a rule that will waive current line speed limits in poultry plants and permit processing to increase from 75-91 birds per minute to 175 birds per minute. No study has been conducted to determine the impact that increasing the speed of the line will have on worker safety.
USDA did not contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for protecting the health and safety of American workers, before publishing this proposed rule. This sets an alarming precedent for all agencies that may want to use administrative rulemaking to change policies that could weaken health and safety protections for workers. This lack of transparency or collaboration with the agency responsible for workplace safety could put workers in danger. And as we know, when worker safety is at risk in food processing facilities, the safety of our food supply can also be jeopardized.
Please join the UFCW in urging the USDA to pull this rule in its entirety until adequate safety studies are conducted and OSHA uses this information to create standards to protect workers. Click here to send a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to pull the poultry rule today.