Note: this was initially published by the Office of Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2020
Will Serio: 202-225-3661
DeLauro Urges Comprehensive OSHA Investigation into Worker Fatality at JBS-Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry Processing Plant
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today sent a letter to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor Lauren Sweatt urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into a worker fatality that occurred at a poultry processing plant in Guntersville, Alabama owned by Pilgrim’s Pride—a subsidiary of the Brazilian meatpacking conglomerate JBS SA.
“This tragic fatality comes after several other troubling incidents in recent years, according to OSHA’s own records,” wrote DeLauro. “Despite this appalling track record on workplace safety, in April 2019 the plant sought, and received, a special waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase the speed of their poultry slaughter line. Increased line speeds can impact all workers in the plant, and, as you are aware, there is a growing body of data documenting the association between faster line speeds and worker injuries.”
“I have concerns regarding the agency’s commitment to investigating this matter, in light of the fact that OSHA currently has the fewest number of inspectors in recent history,” continued DeLauro. “All workers have a right to a safe workplace, and no worker should ever have to sacrifice their life for a paycheck. The agency must make sure that this fatality, and all worker fatalities, receives the resources and comprehensive attention it deserves.”
DeLauro is chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.