IUF logo.

العربية | 中文 | Deutsch | English | Español | Français | 日本語 | Русский | Skandinaviska

Join our mailing list

Meat Workers News

Brazil: CNTA condemns the greed and corruption exposed in Operation Weak Flesh 22-03-2017

The IUF affiliated Brazilian National Food Industry Workers Confederation-CNTA(Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias de Alimentação e Afins) has expressed outrage at the widespread corruption between the executives of major meat companies and the Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture,  uncovered by federal police in an operation dubbed 'Weak Flesh' and which may have led to the export and domestic sales of rotten meat.
[read more]

New Zealand Meat Workers Union reaches agreement with Talleys/AFFCO 06-03-2017


Members of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union (NZMWU) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective bargaining agreement with Talleys/AFFCO.  The Agreement follows a two year fight with their employer which included a 5 month lockout at the processing plant in the town of Wairoa, the dismissal and reinstatement of union leaders, various court proceedings and a refusal by the company to recognize the union for the purposes of collective bargaining.

[read more]

Spanish affiliates fight bogus self employment 13-02-2017

The Spanish Parliament has approved a legal change that will prevent companies from outsourcing the most important parts of production to false cooperatives and employment agencies. The change will make working hours, salaries and social security at least the  equivalent of those prescribed in collective bargaining agreements that apply to employees.

[read more]

SEC investigates chicken pricing as Tyson reports solid profit. 13-02-2017

The U.S. meat giant Tyson has acknowledged that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating its chicken pricing practices following allegations that the company conspired for years with its competitors, including Pilgrim's Pride(JBS) and Sanderson Farms, to keep prices artificially high through buying each other's products and shipping excess breeding stock to Mexico.

[read more]

UFCW Locals settle collective bargaining agreements with major meat companies 01-02-2017

In the second half of 2016, U.S. affiliate the UFCW settled a number of local collective bargaining agreements with JBS, Tyson, Smithfield and Cargill. In a tough bargaining environment the union was able to protect pension and health insurance plans for its members and negotiate regular wage increases throughout the 5 year term of the agreements.
[read more]

U.S. Refugee and Migrant policies will impact meat sector 01-02-2017

The meat packing industry in the United States will be seriously impacted by President Trump's four month freeze on the nation's refugee programme and the 90 day ban on entry from seven predominantly Muslim states in the Middle East.
[read more]

European meat affiliates demand action to stop abuses 25-10-2016

On October 19, the German Food Workers Union NGG organized a conference for IUF European meat affiliates at Rheda-Wiedenbrück, where Tönnies, Germany's largest meat processor is based. According to the NGG, 3500 of the 4000 employees in the production line at the local factory are employed under temporary work contracts.
[read more]

NZ Meat Workers Union wins again in Court 06-10-2016


After the New Zealand Employment Court ruled last February that the Talleys/AFFCO brutal 5 month lockout of union members was illegal, the company appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal- and lost again. Meanwhile in a separate case another Talleys owned meat company (Land Meat NZ) has been fined NZ$15,000 and ordered to enter into an arrangement to enter collective bargaining with the union within 6 weeks.
[read more]

IUF Meat Division develops work plan 06-10-2016

The Meat Division seeks cooperation between affiliates in reversing the trend towards outsourcing and the use of employment agencies to supply labour, and in investigating and publicizing any links between worker health and safety and food safety.
[read more]

UK High Court awards damages to poultry workers who were trafficked and enslaved 14-06-2016

The company forced workers to pay them prohibited fees, unlawfully withheld wages, calculated payment on the number of chickens caught rather than on time worked and traveling time, and failed to ensure adequate facilities for workers to wash, rest, eat and drink.
[read more]

U.S. poultry workers find health and safety protection by organizing. 08-06-2016

Two recent reports have again highlighted the dangerous and undignified working conditions in many poultry processing plants in the United States. The healthy and safe exceptions are primarily in plants that have unions, which offer important protections, inform workers of their rights, and ensure they have a voice on the job.
[read more]

Talleys/Affco meat tainted by workplace injuries and union-busting 03-05-2016

The New Zealand meat company Talleys/Affco has intensified attempts to eliminate the New Zealand Meat Workers Union as it continues to injure record numbers of workers.
[read more]

Germany: Dismissals and Uncertainty Following a Fire in a Poultry Plant 18-04-2016

International solidarity with embattled workers at New Zealand rights abuser Talleys/AFFCO 11-04-2016

StopbutcheringhumanrightsIUF affiliates in Asia/Pacific have been holding rolling actions to show solidarity and support for the New Zealand Meatworkers' Union fighting for union rights and safe working conditions at Talleys/AFFCO. Through the IUF, unions in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand have been demonstrating their support. The dozens of actions involve workers in dairy, fast food, fishing, sugar, food processing and agriculture and unions in transnational companies including Coca-Cola, Danone, Nestlé and Unilever.

[read more]

Work at rights-buster Talleys/AFFCO more dangerous than ever 30-03-2016

Talleys AFFCO, prosecuted for health and safety violations, lays off union members 07-03-2016

The District Court in New Zealand has ruled that serial rights abuser Talleys/AFFCO failed to meet its statutory obligations to provide a safe workplace after an experienced worker was impaled by a meat hook and dragged along the line at the company's Rangiuru plant.
[read more]

Talleys/AFFCO lockout lifted by court order, rights abuses continue 26-02-2016

Members of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union began returning to work at the Talleys/AFFCO Wairoa plant on February 22 following a court decision ordering the company to end the brutal 5-month lockout of union workers.
[read more]

Tyson's income surges on the back of low wages, wage theft, denied sick leave and discrimination 16-02-2016

Northwest Arkansas Workers' Justice Center (NWAWJC) released a report describing the appalling conditions and everyday struggles that face poultry workers. To bring about lasting change in the poultry sector, workers must organize.
[read more]

JBS Chairman charged with crimes against the financial system. 12-02-2016

Despite a denial from the company that Chairman Joesley Batista or any other executives of the world's largest meat processor were involved in the transaction, the news sparked a sell off in shares.
[read more]

Workplace slaughter and rights abuses continue at Talleys/AFFCO 01-02-2016

According to the New Zealand government's Accident Compensation Corporation, nearly 5,000 Talley's workers have been awarded over USD 4.7 million in compensation for workplace accidents over the last three years; 1,286 Talley's workers were injured on the job in 2014 alone.
[read more]

Lockout, dismissals, intimidation - serial rights abuses by New Zealand meat company Talleys/AFFCO 18-01-2016

975Two hundred workers at AFFCO, the New Zealand meat company owned by the anti-union Talley family, have been locked out since June last year for resisting the company's brutal push to replace negotiated collective agreements with individual contracts. Talleys/AFFCO is also punishing union members and workplace representatives with suspensions and dismissals. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO TALLEYS/AFFCO!

[read more]

Strengthening union organization in the meat sector 21-10-2015

IUF affiliates from the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific gathered in Chicago on October 13-14 for the 3rd IUF global meat conference. Participants endorsed a proposal for the establishment of an IUF meat division within the structures of the IUF to assist increasing union membership and strength and building effective union coordination on organizing and bargaining at all levels.
[read more]

UFCW action prompts US workplace safety agency to cite poultry producers for ergonomic hazards 06-07-2015

Safety complaints from UFCW members at the Allen Harim chicken processing plant at Harbeson, Delaware were upheld in June by OSHA, which found that workers are exposed to "excessive force and exertion, repetitive motions and awkward postures resulting in ergonomic stressors" leading to crippling repetitive strain injuries
[read more]

Meat giant goes on a shopping spree 02-07-2015

What do you do when your sales revenue exceeds USD 50billion a year? You go shopping! Three major acquisitions were made by JBS within a year.
[read more]

NZ meat company AFFCO Talleys threatens worker after she seeks support from her MP 07-05-2015


AFFCO Talleys which locked out its workforce for several months in 2012, has threatened a butcher who has 15 years service with the company that she may not be re-hired after she approached her MP for support.
[read more]

Australia: meat workers stood down, migrants cast adrift 07-05-2015

Meat companies are increasingly employing migrant workers on temporary work visas to fill job vacancies in the seasonal Australian lamb processing sector. When lines and plants close due to supply and demand factors migrant workers are particularly hard hit.
[read more]

Health care protected in agreement with JBS 10-04-2015

Following six months of negotiations and campaigning, the workers union of the meat industry Criciuma region (SINTIACR), part of the IUF Brazilian affiliate CONTAC, has achieved a good outcome in their collective bargaining with JBS.
[read more]

NUW fights for the rights of workers exploited by poultry company while on holiday in Australia 13-03-2015

Go here to sign the union petition to demand payment to dozens of backpackers who are owed tens of thousands in backpay! B&E poultry should abide by Australian workplace law and stop exploiting workers on holiday in Australia that have language barriers or a lack of Australian workplace knowledge.
[read more]

NUW calls for direct hire employment in the poultry industry. 04-02-2015

The abuse of migrant workers employed by labour hire contractors in Australia has again been exposed by the IUF affiliated National Union of Workers (NUW)
[read more]

NZ Meat Workers campaign for secure jobs 17-12-2014


More than 20,000 meat workers provide their labour for this critical NZ export industry which contributes significantly to the wealth of the country.

However labour standards have declined in a traditional seasonal industry to the point where dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements are increasingly prevalent.

[read more]

Argentine, Brazilian unions and governments agree to work together to promote union rights in the meat sector 03-12-2014

At the initiative of the IUF Latin American Region(REL-UITA), a meeting of meat unions and government officials from Argentina and Brazil was convened in Buenos Aires on November 27 where a groundbreaking agreement was signed to promote cooperation and assistance in government labour policies and on the elimination of human trafficking.
[read more]

JBS strengthens its dominance of Australian meat industry 21-11-2014

JBS, the world's largest meat processor, and the largest distributor of fresh meat products in Australia, has announced the acquisition of the Primo Group,the largest producer of small goods in Australia and New Zealand.
[read more]

Trans-Atlantic solidarity for union activist dismissed by Hormel 07-11-2014

The IUF Danish affiliate NNF expressed solidarity with Jen Pulaski and the UFCW by publicizing her case to members and requesting that Danish company Tulip, owned by Danish Crown, protest to Hormel about the dismissal of a union activist. Tulip manufactures Spam products for Hormel.
[read more]

NUW exposes exploitation and rights violations in Australian poultry industry 25-10-2014

The union discovered that when Pedro was hired with little knowledge of the English language and even less knowledge of Australian workplace laws in 2007, he had been hoodwinked into becoming an independent contractor, with no minimum hourly wage, penalty rates, holidays, sick leave or superannuation and was responsible for paying his own tax. He earned less than the minimum wage with no entitlements.
[read more]

No increase in line speeds in USDA Poultry Modernization Rule 04-08-2014

After intense lobbying by labor unions, food safety groups and the civil rights community, the proposed increase in line speeds to 175 birds a minute has been dropped and the current maximum rate of 140 birds a minute maintained.
[read more]

Sick consumers and injured workers: the price of cheap chicken 29-07-2014

UK affiliate Unite the Union has called for increased numbers of food inspectors in the wake of the Guardian newspaper expose on the serious food safety risks throughout the poultry industry supply chain.
[read more]

Strikes averted as UFCW wins new union contract with JBS 11-06-2014

Members of the UFCW local 1161 at the pork processing plant at Worthington, Minnesota have secured a new 5 year union contract after spending 11 months at the negotiating table.
[read more]

UFCW calls for safety first in poultry industry changes 11-04-2014

UFCW%20Logo%20jpeg_0A new study released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) confirms what workers in the poultry industry have been saying for decades-it is among the most dangerous places to work in America.
[read more]

Agreement reached on a minimum wage for the German meat industry 20-01-2014

Breakthrough in Germany in the struggle against wage dumping 24-09-2013

Food safety and worker health and safety at serious risk in US poultry plants 11-09-2013

German Food Workers fighting to end meat industry abuses 20-08-2013

A small step toward eliminating wage dumping in the German meat industry 19-08-2013

Brazil’s meat unions educate members and monitor implementation of Government safety regulations 02-08-2013

Caged chickens, caged workers 26-07-2013

Further deregulation of US poultry inspection would put workers and consumers at risk 25-07-2013

Deadly China poultry fire highlights need for independent trade unions 07-06-2013

Supermarkets and brand owners to pass on costs of horsemeat scandal 18-04-2013

Weak labour standards: the scandal behind the horsemeat scandal 25-03-2013

The horse meat scandal: strengthen labour standards to secure food safety 12-02-2013