Food Chain Workers Alliance v. Tyson Foods Title VI Complaint

Food Chain Workers Alliance v. Tyson Foods Title VI Complaint

A nationwide coalition of organizations that advocate for meat processing workers and allied groups 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 and Latino workforce at the companies’ plants.

Because of the federal money that flows to the two corporations in the form of federal Farm Bill nutrition and Trade Mitigation Program contracts, this disparate impact violates federal civil rights law. The complainants ask that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Civil Rights suspend, terminate, and refuse to provide financial assistance to these four companies as a result of this racial discrimination, and to refer the complaint to the Department of Justice for action.

The complainants in this administrative complaint are Food Chain Workers Alliance, the Rural Community Workers Alliance(Mo.& Kan.), the HEAL Food Alliance, Forward Latino, American Friends Service Committee – Iowa, and the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils. They are represented by FarmSTAND (formerly the Food Project at Public Justice), Nichols Kaster PLLP, and Towards Justice.

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