Meat Workers and Allies Nationwide File Racial Discrimination Complaint to Challenge Meat Processing Corporation Actions, Alleging Racial Discrimination in Disastrous COVID-19 Response

Administrative complaint argues that USDA must end federal support for dominant meat processing corporations' disregard for Black, Latino, and Asian lives and wellbeing.

A nationwide coalition of organizations that advocate for meat processing workers, and allied groups, today filed an administrative civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging that in addition to being disastrous for the wellbeing of workers and for public health, two major meat processing corporations have engaged in racial discrimination prohibited by the Civil Rights Act through their workplace policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complaint alleges that megacorporations Tyson and JBS have adopted policies that reject critical Centers for Disease Control guidance – social distancing on meat processing lines – to stop the spread of COVID-19 at their processing facilities and that the results of their current operating procedures have a discriminatory impact on the predominantly Black, Latino, and Asian workforce at the companies’ plants.

The complainants in this administrative complaint are Food Chain Workers Alliance, the Rural Community Workers Alliance, the HEAL Food AllianceForward LatinoAmerican Friends Service Committee – Iowa, and the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils. They are represented by Public Justice, Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and Towards Justice.