About 40 workers who catch chickens to be processed in Tyson facilities, but who work for a Georgia-based contractor called Nipcam, voted to join UFCW Local 27 in an NLRB election last week. The catchers who work in Pocamoke City, VA., on the Eastern Shore and Delmarva Peninsula ﬁ rst contacted the UFCW when their working conditions got so bad, they nearly decided to walk off the job.
Workers said they sought to unite in a union because they lacked any respect on the job and they wanted to be treated with simple human dignity. They were also concerned that working for contractors, instead of for the poultry companies like Tyson or Perdue, was making it harder and harder to make a living.
Chicken catchers have what has been described as the hardest, dirtiest job in the poultry industry catching clawing, squawking chickens by the feet and loading them into cages to be hauled to processing plants.