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UFCW Statement on the Department of Justice Lawsuit Against Poultry Industry Employers

July 26, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential industries across North America, responded to news that the Department of Justice filed suit against multiple poultry industry employers regarding their decades-long illegal collusion to suppress wages.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Today, the Department of Justice is finally shining a light on decades of illegal collusion by some of the poultry industry’s largest employers. For far too long, these companies have been using every tool at their disposal to engage in what the DOJ itself calls a ‘brazen scheme’ to increase profits off the backs of hard-working Americans by intentionally keeping wages low. These companies treated their employees as if they were merely an expendable budget line item, not essential, hard-working people deserving of dignity. As the largest union in the nation representing food processing, packing and manufacturing workers, we fight to ensure our members, and every worker that keeps American families fed, is paid fairly and protected in their workplace. These companies desperately need to be held accountable for their crimes.

“While it is heartening to see this Department of Justice moving swiftly, it is imperative that workers and their representatives are part of the process and can share what really goes on inside these plants. Proposing an $85 million penalty is a start, so long as the workers who were denied the salary they rightfully deserve actually see the restitution.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.