Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Friday, December 21, 2001 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: The Justice Department Announces Guidelines for the...
2001-12-21

Federal Authorities Indict Tyson Foods, the Nation’s Largest Poultry Corporation, Forsmuggling Workers From Mexico to Serve As Low Paid Workers in Its Factories

DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

Federal Prosecutors on Wednesday handed down a 36 count indictment against Tyson foods, the nation’s largest meatproducer. The indictments charge that Tyson tried to cut costs in its poultry factories by smuggling undocumentedworkers from Mexico and giving them fraudulent work papers so they could work in their factories at low wages.

The indictments contend Tyson has engaged in the practice since 1994 and that the alleged conspiracy included 15Tyson plants in nine states.

The charges against Tyson are horrific but by no means unusual. In July, 1999, two workers, James Dame, Jr. and MikeHallum fell into an open pit of decomposing chicken parts and suffocated from the methane gas at Tyson’s Robards,Kentucky facility.

Meat production in the U.S. is increasingly dominated by huge corporations that rely on low-wage, non-union, oftenundocumented workers, for their processing plants, where they face some of the highest injury rates of any job in thecountry.

The media has focused on Tyson’s wrongdoing, but largely ignored the workers themselves, whom community activists andlabor unions say are victims of both a failed immigration policy and un-enforced labor laws that leave themvulnerable to exploitation.

Guests:

  • Anna Avandano, Assistant General Counsel for the United Food and Commercial Workers.
  • Adrienne Markowitz, industrial hygienist and previous director of health and safety for the NationalRetail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers union. She is also a founding member of the Georgia Poultry JusticeAlliance.
  • Reverend Jim Lewis, Founding member of the Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance, a community based campaignworking to improve conditions for workers, small farmers and the environment on the Peninsula joined by Delaware,Maryland, Virginia.

Related links:


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.