Meatpacking

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media file photo

Cargill Meat Solutions and a union have agreed to pay more than $1.7 million dollars to settle a case alleging that Somali-American Muslim plant workers were wrongfully fired in a dispute over prayer breaks.

The settlement, which was announced Friday morning, came years after the late 2015 dispute with Somali-American Muslim workers at Cargill’s beef meatpacking plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / Harvest Public Media file photo

Major meatpacking company JBS USA faces another religious discrimination lawsuit.

The federal lawsuit, filed  in U.S. District Court in Denver, alleges that officials at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley didn’t intervene or prevent racial and religious discrimination that 37-year-old former employee Kacem Andalib said he experienced.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media file photo

Employers can force workers to settle disputes outside of court, the U.S. Supreme Court said this week, which could negatively affect agricultural workers and employees who earn low wages.

For about 10 years Laura Krier has lived in Concordia, Kansas, a small town that she’s seen get only smaller.

Without some kind of economic development, she fears things it will only get worse.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media

Wearing a heavy smock and rubber boots, Amadedin Eganwa stands over a large conveyor belt that’s carrying unconscious lambs. He faces east, towards Mecca, gently lifts the animal’s head in the same direction and under his breath he quickly says a prayer — bismillahi allahu akbar, or “in God’s name” — before swiftly cutting the lamb’s throat.

Amy Mayer / File/Harvest Public Media

The federal government wants to revamp hog slaughter inspections, proposing changes that were more than 15 years in the works and are being touted as ways to improve food safety. Critics argue they hand too much responsibility to meatpackers and may put workers’ safety at risk.

File photo / Oxfam

A congressional watchdog agency called on the federal government Thursday to better protect meatpacking workers, who are often exposed to dangerous chemicals, not allowed bathroom breaks and refused medical treatment.

The General Accountability Office’s report said the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration faces a challenge when it comes to addressing safety concerns in meat and poultry plants because workers may not report problems out of fear of retaliation.