Three former employees of companies that produce more than 90% of chicken meat in the United States filed a lawsuit accusing their former employers of paying low wages for performing .
The lawsuit, according to the Bloomberg news agency, addresses 18 companies (with its subsidiaries) and two consultants.
At the moment the lawsuit has been filed on behalf of three people but they presume that there may be hundreds of thousands more. Most of them are immigrants, allegedly exploited for their low level of English and the inability to get another better job.
The lawsuit states that the companies involved have met in secret since 2009 to establish the salaries and working conditions of their employees. The companies, which were in a coastal city in northern Florida, established common lines for the workers of their nearly 200 meat plants.
Among the 18 companies in demand are Yyson Foods, Sanderson Farms, Mar-Jac Poultry, Wayne Farms, Perdue Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride.
Only one of them, Perdue Farms, answered the questions of the Bloomberg researchers and said that his “compensation philosophy is to pay a fair salary and, sometimes, above average.” The average salary is 11 dollars per hour.
In addition to the ICE raids, employees of these types of jobs face these working conditions. Raids such as those of Mississippi, in which 680 workers were arrested, left no record of having arrested any employer.
New ICE raids announced at workplaces
During an interview for the Telemundo network, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kevin McAleenan said that new raids against undocumented people in work spaces like those reported in Mississippi in early August are approaching.
“We are increasing the processing and we are succeeding. There was an important case in Tennessee, a few months ago, in which there was a one and a half year sentence of individuals involved, and you will begin to see employer prosecutions from these efforts, ”said the interviewee.
In addition, McAleenan answered affirmatively when asked if they will be megarredadas such as that of the seven food processing plants in which agents of the Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) arrested almost 700 immigrants.
On the separation of minors and their parents at the border, McAleenan said that these actions are in accordance with the court orders and the executive order of the president,