The meat industry is absolutely reprehensible. Its treatment of workers has been horrible ever since it and the Eisenhower administration busted the unions in the 50s in order to lower prices for consumers. The Hamlet chicken plant disaster is perhaps the most famous incident, but as we’ve seen, the treatment of these workers during COVID has been absolutely atrocious. And now, another murder of workers in a chicken plant:
A line carrying liquid nitrogen ruptured at a poultry processing plant in Georgia on Thursday morning, killing six people and injuring 11 others in an accident that union officials said raised serious questions about safety protocols at the plant.
Firefighters responded at 10:12 a.m. to a report of burns at the Foundation Food Group plant in Gainesville, Ga., about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, Zach Brackett, a Hall County fire division chief, said at a news conference.
Once there, the firefighters found a “large contingent of employees that had evacuated, along with multiple victims that were in that crowd that were also experiencing medical emergencies around the facility,” Chief Brackett said.
Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents more than 15,000 poultry workers at facilities across the southern United States, called the deadly accident “a complete and utter tragedy.”
“Had simple safety protocols been followed today, workers’ lives wouldn’t have been on the line,” he said. “The egregious lack of standards at nonunion facilities like the one in Gainesville cost essential workers their lives today.”
The plant ran afoul of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration several times in the past few years. In 2015, it was fined more than $100,000 for about a dozen safety violations, according to records. The following year, it was fined more than $40,000 for violations.
In 2017, two employees underwent amputations, including one of two fingers after his left hand got caught in machinery that he was cleaning, according to records. The other worker lost four fingers on his right hand after it got stuck in a food mixer. In 2019, the plant was fined $3,750, records said.
Oh well, $3,750. I know I can’t believe that a fine that severe wouldn’t have transformed the safety culture in that plant!
This stuff is really important and even among both liberals and the left, it’s just not much of a priority at all. People say, “oh this is bad” but they don’t prioritize anything to do about it.