More than 17,000 Tyson poultry workers in 41 plants in 12 states have settled a $32-million lawsuit in a 12-year struggle to get paid for work already performed, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
The UFCW initiated the suit against Tyson. Last Thursday, the United States District Court in Georgia approved the settlement.
The lawsuit charged Tyson with violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Meatpacking and food processing workers wear specialized protective gear while they work. Before these UFCW-initiated lawsuits began, meatpacking companies didn’t pay workers for time spent taking the gear on and off, adding up to thousands of dollars of lost pay over years of work.
The lawsuit will result in payments, averaging around $1,000 per worker, to current and former Tyson workers across the country.
The affected Tyson poultry workers work at plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.