Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: East

U.S. sues chicken producers

Getty/iStockphoto Broiler Chickens drink from water nipples in meat production poultry facility.
The Justice Department alleges poultry producers conspired with competitors to keep wages down

By Michael Hirtzer and Leah Nylen

The U.S. Justice Department is suing poultry producers including Cargill Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc. for conspiring to keep wages down for workers who cut up chickens inside slaughterhouses.

The poultry producers conspired for at least two decades to collaborate with and assist competitors in making decisions about worker compensation, including wages and benefits, and exchange information about current and future compensation plans, according to a complaint filed Monday with the US District Court in Maryland. The processors also engaged in deceptive practices under the so-called tournament system, where growers are penalized if they underperform, the filing said.

The civil lawsuit comes after Cargill and Continental Grain Co. said Friday it closed its $4.5-billion deal to acquire Sanderson Farms and combine it with Wayne Farms, bringing together the third- and sixth-largest U.S. chicken companies.

Representatives from the companies didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

TAGS: Poultry
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.