This Thanksgiving, many of our holiday meals would not be possible without the poultry plant workers who ensure Americans can put fresh turkey on our plates. But in spite of the vital role these workers play in our nation’s food production, many are still forced to endure dangerous, inhumane conditions, working tirelessly to keep up with the increased demand for poultry around the holiday season and facing an increased risk of contracting COVID.
That’s why we’re pleased to share that this week, Congress introduced the Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act—a package of legislation to ensure dignity, safety and respect for meatpacking workers. This legislation will provide better workplace conditions in meatpacking plants by guaranteeing access to bathroom breaks, reasonable limits on line speeds, and more. Critically, it will also help put a stop to the abusive attendance policies that penalize too many meatpacking workers for lawful absences, especially pregnant workers and those with medical needs.
This week and every week, we must demand better for our meatpacking workers. As many of us gather to enjoy dinners alongside our loved ones this holiday season, we must be conscious of the urgent need for policies that allow the workers who make our meals possible to care for their health and their families. We applaud Senator Booker for championing the needs of America’s meatpacking workers who have long been undervalued, and we hope to see this crucial legislation passed into law. And as a proud member of the Poultry Workers’ Rights Coalition, we are committed to continuing to work with our partners to protect and defend the rights of all poultry and meatpacking workers.