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U.S. workers win safety campaign

1 February 2018 News
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Poultry workers in the United States have won an important victory after campaigning against a petition by the National Chicken Council to the Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) to remove the maximum line speed.

If the petition had been successful it would have reversed an Obama administration decision to limit the number of birds processed to 140 per minute.

UFCW President Marc Perrone and UFCW/RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum both praised union members who went door-to-door, made phone calls, and spoke directly with fellow members at worksites to send postcards and messages to federal agencies. They defeated a proposal that would have put workers at greater risk of injury and consumers at greater risk of illness, by making it more difficult for both federal inspectors and quality control workers to properly check birds for contamination.

The fight now moves to the pork industry following a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) decision on January 19 to eliminate line speed limits in pork processing, a decision in the words of UFCW President Perrone, which "is driven entirely by corporate greed and which defies common sense."