In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal to increase line speeds at factories specializing in poultry evisceration, advocates with the Southern Poverty Law Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that workers are subjected to "disabling harm" even under the current guidelines.
A report published by the SPLC last year, titled "Unsafe at These Speeds," detailed the poor work conditions of thousands of poultry processing plant workers in Alabama. The details caught the attention of Atlanta workers' compensation lawyers, as Alabama is third in American poultry production. Georgia is No. 1, annually responsible for producing 25 million pounds of chicken, 14 million eggs, employing 47,000 directly statewide and 77,000 indirectly and generating $13.5 billion.
Many of those workers are Latin American migrants (mostly from Mexico), a population that has expanded in Georgia since the 1990s by 300 percent. While industry leaders tout the opportunities these jobs provide to the migrant workers, the reality is much darker.