Workers at poultry producers wear diapers after being denied bathroom breaks

Chicken (illustration) 
By: Feng Qian

Hundreds of workers at the largest poultry producers in the United States, are forced to wear diapers after being denied adequate bathroom breaks.

An Oxfam America report reveals routine denial of bathroom breaks, leading to poultry workers urinating while on the line, wearing diapers to work, and limiting intake of fluids to dangerous levels.

The report specifically calls on Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms, which together control nearly 60 percent of the poultry market, to implement immediate changes that will improve conditions for workers nationwide.

Workers in Arkansas, reported that they regularly wear diapers to work in the plants. They feel they have to put up with this in order to keep their jobs.

The supervisors do whatever they can to keep the line running at fast speeds. Denial of regular access to the bathroom is a violation of the U.S. workplace safety law.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a sanitary standard that requires employers to make toilet facilities available to employees to use when needed in order to avoid adverse health effects.

Poultry workers’ requests for bathroom breaks are routinely mocked or ignored, workers are forced to wait up to an hour or more, and requests are often met with threats of punishment or firing, according to the investigation.

Accidents occur within production plants, including workers urinating and defecating while on the line, wearing diapers to work, and limiting fluid and food intake.