Thank You for Your Support of Poultry Workers!

The nation’s 250,000 poultry workers face highly dangerous working conditions—including breakneck line speeds, deafening noise levels, amputation rates over four times as high as the national average, overall illness rates more than five times as high, and rates of debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome that are seven times as high.

The USDA is currently considering a petition from the chicken industry to increase line speeds from 140 birds per minute to the industry-preferred 175 birds per minute (bpm), or higher, or roughly three birds per second. This action would further exacerbate the unsafe conditions poultry workers already face, and would have serious detrimental effects on food safety and animal welfare.

Over the past few months, more than 24,000 workers and advocates like you sent comments to the USDA demanding that the agency reject any increase in poultry line speeds.

The day before the comment window closed in December 2017, Interfaith Worker Justice led a demonstration outside the USDA in Washington, D.C. to protest speeding our poultry lines. The demonstration included workers and advocates from the Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center, Centro de Derechos Laborales from Texas, Western North Carolina Workers’ Center, Oxfam America, National Employment Law Project, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, and United Food and Commercial Workers. The group also delivered a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary Rottenberg urging them to keep line speeds as they are and reject industry pressure to deregulate.

The USDA has not yet made a decision about whether it will accept the poultry industry’s petition to increase line speeds.

Though the official comment period has closed, you can still let your voice be heard by emailing the following USDA officers and telling them to keep line speeds as they are and to reject industry pressure to deregulate: and

Thank you for your support in this critical fight.

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