Watch: Meatpacking Workers Often Face Life With Pain

Jun 14, 2016

Meatpacking workers call it “the chain.” Sometimes “the line,” or “la linea.” It sets the pace for all work done at meat processing plants, production rates that force workers to make in the tens of thousands of cuts, slices and other movements for hours at a time.

Those repetitions affect workers’ muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, causing what is called musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, and resulting in sprains, strains, pains, or inflammation. 

Although the government hasn’t linked line speeds to high rates of injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 2014 data shows that repetitive motion cases caused by “microtasks” among beef and pork processing workers were nearly seven times that of other private industries.

Watch the video below to learn more.