If you, like many Americans, enjoy eating nasty meat, you will be pleased to read the following information about work in the factories that produce your packaged dead chicken parts.
Our lawmakers—constantly in search of safe and productive ways to increase economic efficiency in the field of poop-tainted animal flesh—are considering a proposal to let chicken processing plants run even faster than they do now. Chicken factory workers descended on DC yesterday to voice their side of the story. The Washington Post reports:
"My hands really began to hurt was when I switched to deboning," 59-year-old Salvadora Roman said through an interpreter at a Capitol Hill news conference. "We have to pull the bone up and take the meat off — really rip it from the bone. . . . The real problem here is the lines go really fast."
Currently, plants run processing lines at a maximum rate of 140 birds a minute. Under the USDA's proposed plan, line speeds can rise to 175 birds a minute.
Imagine, if you will, approaching retirement age, and holding a low-paid job that requires you to chop, yank, and rip chickens apart with your hands, at the rate of 140 per minute. Then imagine the bosses, who do not do this job, telling you that they wanted you to work much faster.
You don't have to imagine members of Congress last year creating the Congressional Chicken Caucus "to give 'America's chicken producers a platform to better inform legislators,'" because that actually happened.