A new lawsuit brings to light yet another piece of the saga that is Tyson Foods' meat processing problems. Up to 2,000 Tyson employees from its pork processing plant in Logansport, Indiana have filed a lawsuit alleging that the company failed to compensate them for overtime pay.
An agribusiness news service reports:
According to the law suit, Tyson employees were not compensated for an array of work-related activities, including time spent donning, doffing and cleaning safety equipment at the Logansport plant, as well as time spent on production activities. Tyson, headquartered in Springdale, Ark., is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork products.
This isn't the first bad news we've heard regarding a Tyson Foods pig plant recently. A Kansas City Star investigative report chronicled the case of GAP client Jim Schrier, a USDA inspector who blew the whistle on humane handling violations at a Tyson pig plant in Iowa. He was sent to another plant more than 120 miles away after raising concerns to his supervisor.
Meanwhile, several USDA inspectors, including whistleblower Sherry Medina in Alabama, also reported to FIC the excessive use of chemicals at Tyson poultry plants that threatens the health of workers and adds to questionable changes within the industry.
Tyson Foods clearly needs to get its act together and prioritize better treatment of workers (which in turn can lead to safer food and better treatment of animals). Everyone, including Tyson's media relations, would benefit.
Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.