Oh, great. Don’t leave us hanging, “Expose Smithfield‘s Deathstar”? Something, something, Chinese-owned Smithfield‘s meats? Or is it Sithfield’s?
A few years ago, it was a different workplace. That’s the claim of union president B.J. Motley recalls his first job at Morrell’s, now Smithfield Foods. “A family-oriented company, you know, when I’m fresh out of school, your senior executives look after me,” Motley said. He said it remains a commitment to new hires.
“But once you’re in, it’s a whole different story,” Motley said. Despite the reduction in staff, Motley said the queues were just as fast. When an employee goes offline, he gets a notification.
“What reason shouldn’t scold them? Push, push, push, you know, it just makes it more stressful,” Motley said. Staff told Motley they were given additional responsibilities that could lead to safety issues, including janitors.
“To pick up meat from the ground and dispose of the trash, you know the corpse, you know the abscess, in that sense,” Motley said. They wash dishes, but may be contaminated by slaughterhouses as they now face new jobs making drinks for their employees.
“If you mix it up, it can get into Gatorade or whatever, and it can cause people to get sick,” Motley said.
Combinations of post-swine slaughterhouse cleanup and beverage preparation for staff are currently being explored. “We have received a complaint from the Sioux Falls Union and are taking action,” OSHA spokesman Scott Allen confirmed. “OSHA is in discussions with Smithfield and these allegations are being resolved,” Allen said in a statement.
If there’s one thing the union and Smithfield can agree on, it’s their frustration. “Communication is going down and we can’t really come together to do better for unions and companies because we’re here to work together,” Motley said.
During this investigation, OSHA has a number of options, including writing a letter to resolve allegations that Smithfield can explain any changes made, or OSHA can open a full investigation, which can take up to 6 months, and respond The time is 15 days in Schmiedfeld.