<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

What About the Workers in Slaughter Plants? 

We have been talking about the victimization of chickens so far, but what about the workers themselves? In an earlier post in this 'thon I already mentioned that I was going to turn Tyson in to OSHA for their safety violations, which were many. The last straw, though, was making us run chickens covered with lime. A friend of mine got poisoned so badly that he got chemical pneumonia. the lime burned his whole respiratory tract, and he was off of work for weeks. But did Tyson get in the least bit of trouble? Nope. Hence the OSHA report I planned to file.

Well, not too long ago Human rights Watch did a report on this very problem. It is called, "Blood, Sweat, and Fear," and can be red online here.

Well, on August 3rd the Washington Post printed an op-ed from them on this problem. sorry I don't have the link, but the person who posted it in the forum I am a part of didn't include it. You can try this one, though. If that doesn't work, you can look for the article, entitled, "Meatpacking's Human Toll."

They back up many of the things I have said about my experiences at Tyson.

Again, the government does little to protect such workers. Why? Because agribusiness won't let them. According to the article,
"As the Government Accountability Office has pointed out, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has "no specific standard that allows OSHA to cite employers for hazards" relating to line speed and repetitive stress injuries. Indeed, job safety enforcement officials do not even have data "to assess the appropriate speed at which the lines should operate." This information does not exist because companies refuse to let government regulators or independent researchers measure line speed, examine workers' knife-cutting motions or study musculoskeletal injuries from repeated hard cutting.


They also add that people like me, who worked night shift, aren't counted, just as those who clean up aren't.
One problem with published injury reports is that they don't include night-shift workers who perform the most dangerous jobs in the industry, using caustic chemicals and high-powered hoses to remove blood, bone and gristle from moving machinery parts. Their injuries are counted with those of hotel room cleaners and building janitors.


If any of you have trouble finding the whole article, shoot me off an email, and I will be glad to send it to you.

I have had people write me that tell me that they don't are much about the chickens, but what they read about the people really disturbs them, especially since conditions like these make people violent.
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