Companies producing most of America’s chicken products have met for almost a decade in Destin, Fla. to keep wages and benefits for their workforces at low levels, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Maryland.
The suit was filed on behalf of three former workers from Arkansas, but seeks class-action status for hundreds of thousands more. Most of the chicken processing industry cited in the lawsuit is clustered in the South.
The 77-page suit, basing its information on interviews with former employees, contends that the meetings have been going on since 2009 to keep wages and benefits for line and maintenance workers at about 200 plants depressed. The suit names several companies, including three divisions of Koch Foods based in Alabama, Decatur’s WSFP Foods, Tuscaloosa’s Peco Foods, Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms, JCG Foods of Alabama, Wayne Farms, Perdue Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.
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