In the HourVoice Worker App (app.hourvoice.com), workers can rate their employer on several categories. One of those is “Respect,” and it’s based on a scale of 1-5. We might have to change that to 0-5.
In “Poultry Workers in Diapers as Bathroom Breaks Denied: Oxfam” (Shruti Singh, Bloomberg), workers report having to wear diapers to compensate for not being allowed bathroom breaks. Companies named in the report include Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms. The full Oxfam report is here.
All the companies named deny the accusations (e.g., Tyson’s Response), and pointed out that they all have policies that allow bathroom breaks (as the law requires). Having a policy that actually conforms to the law is laudable, I suppose, but clearly not sufficient.
Here’s why. Executives often speak high-mindedly about “respect for the individual,” but then put extreme pressures on lower levels of management for “results.” These pressures cascade down to the first-line supervisors, who are given so little slack that to “make their numbers” they have to cut corners. And workers take the brunt of this cheating.
To its credit, Tyson has a hotline and an Ethics and Compliance office, but the process seems to have some gaps.