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UFCW Members Voice Concerns, USDA Extends Comment Period on Poultry Inspection Rule

Last week, in response to UFCW members around the country submitting their opposition to a Big Poultry-driven inspection process being considered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Secretary Tom Vilsack agreed to extend the comment period on this proposed rule by 30 days. The rule, which would increase the speed that birds are processed from 70-91 a minute to a maximum of 175 a minute, could put workers at  poultry plants in increased danger.

Poultry workers

The UFCW has called on USDA to halt this rule until the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts comprehensive studies on the impact it would have on the health and safety of workers in poultry plants. It will use this 30-day extension to work directly with NIOSH to determine a course of action to study the probable effects of increased line speeds on worker health and safety. This extension is a victory for all poultry workers who can rest assured that their safety on the job is being taken seriously. Members can continue to submit their comments online by visiting www.regulations.gov and referencing Docket No. FSIS-2011-0012 “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection.”

UFCW APPLAUDS USDA FOR EXTENDING COMMENT PERIOD ON POULTRY INSPECTION RULE

WASHINGTON, D.C.Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), released the following statement regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to extend the comment period on its proposed poultry inspection rule.

“The UFCW applauds Secretary Tom Vilsack’s decision to extend the comment period on USDA’s proposed poultry inspection rule in order to further study its impact on worker safety. We have said all along that this rule should be halted until it is proven that increased line speeds are safe for workers. The UFCW will use this 30-day extension to work directly with USDA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Obama Administration to determine a course of action to study the probable effects of increased line speeds on worker health and safety. Today is a victory for all poultry workers who can rest assured that their safety on the job is being taken seriously.”

 

Big Poultry’s Dangerous Push for Faster Line Speeds

President Hansen has a new column up on the Huffington Post about big poultry’s push for a new rule to increase line speed in the poultry plants. As he says, “The only thing worse than a chicken with its head cut off is one with its head in the sand. That was my initial reaction after reading Administrator Alfred Almanza’s piece defending Big Poultry’s push to dramatically increase line speed in our nation’s plants.”

Click here to read the full column.