SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Tyson Foods workers rallied together on Oct. 16 outside the company’s Springdale, Ark., headquarters in a protest of concerns related to child labor, worker safety and unfair conditions.
Workers were joined by dozens of labor and food advocate organizations like the Food Chain Workers Alliance. Together the protestors called for Tyson “to stop boosting profits at the expense of children and workers through shoddy supply chain controls, hazardous line speeds at processing facilities, and failure to take accountability for injury compensation claims,” according to the activists’ campaign invitation.
“We respect people’s right to protest peacefully, and we actively encourage team members to raise questions or concerns with their supervisors, plant leadership and Human Resources,” a Tyson spokesperson told MEAT+POULTRY, Supermaret Perimeter's sister publication. “We ensure Tyson team members have multiple ways to report any concerns, violations of company policy or suspicious activity, including anonymously through the company’s Ethics Line, which is available 24/7 in multiple languages and managed by an independent third party.”
The protest comes at a time when Tyson Foods — along with fellow poultry processor Perdue Farms — is the subject of a child labor investigation conducted by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
The DOL began investigating the company following the publication of a New York Times Magazine article that reported illegal child labor allegations within the company.