Global Processing

Workers sue Tyson for alleged violations

May 18, 2006
According to the Associated Press, workers at a Tyson Foods Inc. meatpacking plant in Kansas have sued the company, alleging it violated federal and state labor laws by not paying them for time spent putting on and taking off protective equipment and walking to and from their work stations. The lawsuit, filed late Monday in Kansas City, Kan., lists 262 current and former workers as plaintiffs. Most of the plaintiffs are Hispanic immigrants. Attorneys with Siegel Hanson Woody LLP in Kansas City, Mo., cited a unanimous Supreme Court decision on Nov. 8, 2005, involving Iowa Beef Processors, in which justices ruled that that meat plant workers had to be paid for time required to remove protective clothing and gear and to walk to and from their work areas. Tyson acquired IBP in 2001. Last week, a poultry processing plant in Cassville, Mo., agreed to pay more than $1.2 million in back wages to 5,482 current and former employees for time they spent putting on and removing protective clothing and walking to and from work stations.