Unsafe working conditions have caused several Wayne Farm employees to file a complaint with Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA).
Nine Puerto Rican workers at the Enterprise plant say they have being working in an unsafe environment.
According to a press release from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Enterprise workers have been subject to dangerously fast work speeds that cause injuries. Workers also allege they're prevented from getting medical treatment and even fired for reporting injuries or taking time off to see a doctor. The complaint alleges workers are required to pay for some of their protective equipment and denied reasonable bathroom access.
“There was a lot of mistreatment and there was a lot of yelling at us,” explained former Wayne Farms employee, Beatriz Navedo. “We would be getting sick. All the time supervisors were yelling at us and they would often put the machine which they said were running at 36 birds per minute up to 38 or 40 birds per minute or even faster. And we started having problems with our nerves but also with some pain in our hands and pain in our joints and it was a really horrible experience working there.”
Navedo and Cristoffel Gonzalez are two of the workers that have already been fired, but they are hoping that this claim will help their co-workers stay safe.
“I know that i myself do not gain much because I have already been fired but we are filing the complaint for the people who are arriving now or are still working there so that they don't have to suffer the same things that some of us did,” said Gonzalez. “What we want is for the conditions to improve and for there to be a stop to all the threats and the pressure in the plant.”
The attorney from the Southern Poverty Law Center representing the employees says that the next steps are for OSHA to investigate the claims, that could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
WTVY reached out to Wayne Farms for a comment; they have responded.