photography provided by John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer
In the Quest for Dignity and Respect of Poultry Workers
The poultry industry is a large and growing business. Arkansas is a particularly important state with regard to poultry production; in 2013, Arkansas ranked second of all U.S. states in broiler production. Over 12% of all poultry processing jobs are found in the state of Arkansas. With almost 28,000 workers, poultry processing is the fifth largest private employer in Arkansas.
Our study revealed, that behind this industry, lies a harsh reality for poultry workers. Workers in Arkansas's poultry processing industry reported that their jobs are often difficult, dirty, and dangerous. Problems reported include unpaid wages, repetitive strain injuries, discrimination and sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, denial of bathroom breaks, lack of access to sick leave, and exhausting line speeds.
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