In this file:
· Unions sue USDA seeking to halt new pork processing rule
· Workers sue over Trump administration rule that speeds inspection of pork products
· Union Sues to Block Trump Move to Speed Up Pig Slaughtering
Unions sue USDA seeking to halt new pork processing rule
By David Pitt, Associated Press
via KCRG-TV9 (IA) - Oct 07, 2019
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The union representing workers at pork processing plants sued the federal government on Monday to challenge a new rule that allows companies to set line speeds and turn over more food safety tasks to company employees.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and local unions in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas joined with nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen to file the lawsuit in federal court in Minneapolis.
The lawsuit alleges that the new rule announced in September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it isn't backed by reasoned decision-making and should be set aside.
A spokeswoman for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone said there is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety.
"Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm's way," he said.
Swine slaughter workers regularly have reported extreme pressure to work as quickly as possible, which increases the risk of knife injuries, knee, back, shoulder and neck traumas, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, the union said in a statement.
In June, the USDA's Office of Inspector General launched an investigation...
Workers sue over Trump administration rule that speeds inspection of pork products
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill
Workers are suing over a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule that allows pork processing plants to speed up production lines, something their union says could endanger employees.
The USDA rule, announced in September, would remove a cap on the speed that inspection lines can run and also reduce the number of food inspectors who look over pork products.
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which filed the suit on behalf of 30,000 pork plant workers nationwide, noted that meatpacking workers are injured more than twice the average for all private industries.
“Thousands of our members work hard every day in America’s pork plants to help families across the country put food on the table. Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm’s way,” said Marc Perrone, president of UFCW. “This new rule also would dramatically weaken critical protections that Americans depend on to be able to select safe, healthy food to feed their families every day.”
The USDA rule would give plants more power...
Union Sues to Block Trump Move to Speed Up Pig Slaughtering
· New USDA guidelines seen as a windfall for pork processors
· Both worker and consumer safety at risk, according to suit
By Mike Dorning, Bloomberg
October 7, 2019
A food workers’ union filed a federal lawsuit Monday to block a Trump administration move to end limits on the speed of pork slaughter lines, arguing the new rule would lead to more injuries among employees and increase the risk of unsafe pork.
The suit challenges the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s move last month to eliminate maximum speed guidelines that the agency estimated would provide average annual savings of $3.78 million for large plants. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said in its complaint that the new rule ignored warnings that faster production lines at pork slaughter plants would drive up injury rates.
“Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm’s way,” said Marc Perrone, president of UFCW, which was joined in the lawsuit by three of its locals and the advocacy group Public Citizen. “The safety of America’s food and workers is not for sale, and this lawsuit seeks to ensure this dangerous rule is set aside and these companies are held accountable,” he said in a statement.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
Meatpacking workers already suffer injuries and and illnesses more than twice as often as employees in all private businesses, the lawsuit asserts, citing government occupational safety data.
The USDA estimates the regulation will allow pork-processing plants to increase production by...