A few months back I got a troubling email from someone who closely follows worker safety issues, describing a USDA proposal that could make life much harder for poultry workers. Poultry work is already very fast-paced–as I learned when working at a plant in rural Alabama–leading to a high number of repetitive stress injuries. But in January the USDA published a proposal that would allow poultry companies to jack up their maximum line speed from 91 birds a minute to a whopping 175 birds.
As one can imagine, the proposal could have terrible consequences for workers, but thus far such concerns have received almost no media attention. I write about the proposal, and the dangers faced by poultry workers, in this week’s issue of The Nation. You can read that article here: New Rules Mean New Hardship for Poultry Workers.