BALTIMORE, MD. — Poultry processors Mountaire Farms and Case Farms agreed to pay a combined $22 million to settle claims of suppressing labor competition and lowering workers’ wages at facilities.

Mountaire Farms agreed to pay $13.5 million, while Case agreed to pay $8.5 million, according to a plaintiffs’ preliminary approval filing at the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

In 2019, workers sued multiple poultry processors for allegedly violating the Sherman Act by conspiring to drive down hourly wages and salaries at poultry processing operations for more than 10 years.

The plaintiffs alleged the companies conspired through the exchange of compensation data provided by Agri Stats Inc., and others. They also alleged company executives held “off the books” meetings, and managers exchanged future compensation plans across plants via phone calls and electronic surveys.

In September of 2022, three major processors, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms LLC, settled for $84.8 million, while denying any wrongdoing.

Perdue Farms agreed to $60.7 million in settlements for the case in March 2023.

Companies named in the lawsuit previously include Tyson Foods, Keystone Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Koch Foods, House of Raeford Farms, OK Foods and others.

Throughout the process, all poultry processors have denied the allegations.