Building Safe and Healthy Workplaces for Every Worker in America

Despite a 45-year-old law requiring employers to provide a safe workplace, more than 4,800 working people are killed on the job every year, and nearly three million are seriously injured. Many low-wage jobs are dangerous jobs where workers suffer much higher rates of serious job injuries.

For injured workers—especially low-wage workers—a work injury can cause serious physical suffering and have enormous economic consequences, since studies show that workers pick up almost 50 percent of the costs of a work-related injury.

NELP is working to strengthen safety and health protections for low-wage workers by fighting for improved safety and health standards and workers’ compensation laws; advocating for robust enforcement of safety and anti-retaliation protections in low-wage industries; and building effective campaigns to hold low-wage employers accountable.

Lifting Labor Standards in the Poultry Industry

The poultry processing industry slaughters and processes 8.5 billion chickens a year, and with poultry now claiming the title of America’s most popular meat, profits are soaring. (Tyson Foods, the largest poultry processor, reported $461 million in profits for the final quarter of 2016, and announced it is expecting record profits in 2017.)

But for working people in this industry, who make on average $12.50 an hour, the picture is far more bleak. They reap none of the benefits of the industry’s success while making all the sacrifices: they are paid poverty-level wages, suffer wage theft and other violations, and spend long hours in disturbingly unsafe and unhealthy workplaces, leading to rampant on-the-job injuries and work-related illnesses.

While animal-cruelty violations in poultry are widely publicized and raise much public outcry, the industry’s treatment of human beings flies under the radar. But make no mistake: America’s poultry processors are engaged in a race to the bottom on labor standards. As part of our efforts to strengthen health and safety protections for workers, NELP is dedicated to improving labor standards for poultry workers and protecting them from on-the-job harm, while taking their highly profitable employers to task for their mistreatment.

Resources:

We Stand With Workers

 

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO SUPPORT STRONG WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY PROTECTIONS

Despite a 45-year-old law requiring employers to provide a safe workplace, more than 4,800 working people are killed on the job every year, and nearly three million are seriously injured.

In Congress and state legislatures, politicians are rolling back workplace safety protections and cutting the benefits injured workers need to get back on their feet and back to work.  That’s just not right—and we need to change it.

Working people who can’t count on politicians to do the right thing know that they can count on us to fight back for them.  Can they count on you, too?  Join us in saying “We Stand with Workers!” Pledge your support for safe and healthy workplaces and fair treatment of injured workers. Take the pledge!

 

Back to Top of Page