U.S. poultry workers denied bathroom breaks, wear diapers at work: Oxfam report
Some poultry workers describe being reduced to wearing diapers on the production line because they are not permitted bathroom breaks, report says.
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As It Happens8:02U.S. poultry workers denied bathroom breaks, wear diapers at work: Oxfam report
A new report from Oxfam says some employees in American poultry factories are regularly denied bathroom breaks, and as a result are reduced to wearing diapers on the production line.
"It's this drive for production that these poultry companies have, where they're trying to churn out as much product as they can, as quickly as they can," says Oliver Gottfried, a senior advisor with Oxfam America.
Gottfried describes the poultry plants as cold, dark and foul-smelling. He also says the wages, though slightly above mandated minimums, are not sufficient to support a family: "These are poverty level wages for full-time jobs."
The report, called "Lives On The Line: The Human Cost of Cheap Chicken," says workers stand on the line for four hours straight, and process around 35 to 45 birds per minute. From the report: "This means performing the same task on about one chicken every two seconds: more than 2,000 chickens per hour, more than 14,000 chickens per day."
The report looks at Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Perdue Farms Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc. Generally, those companies have responded by calling much of what is detailed in the report as incidents that are isolated and not in keeping with how their companies are run as a whole.
For more on this story, take a listen to our full interview.