Meatpacking Workers Need Protections Now: Support the Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act of 2021

Illustration: Aaron Hughes

Meat and poultry processing workers are organizing for safe working conditions and a voice in their workplace. The COVID pandemic has showed us just how much these workers need stronger protections.

In November 2021, Senator Cory Booker and Representative Ro Khanna introduced the Protecting America’s Meatpacking Workers Act of 2021 (PAMWA). The Bill would provide essential protections for workers, including limiting line speed waivers, enhancing protection from retaliation for workers who speak up, ensuring access to proper medical care, eliminating unreasonable restrictions on workers’ use of bathrooms, and requiring OSHA to develop enforceable standards to protect workers from musculoskeletal disorders and airborne diseases, while addressing the stranglehold that a handful of corporations have over this industry.

“Weak existing laws have failed to protect workers in the meat processing industry both before and during the COVID pandemic. Now we have an opportunity to improve these working conditions and prevent the deterioration of workers’ health through passing and implementing new laws and policies. I urge Congress to listen to workers’ needs and act swiftly to pass this bill.” - Axel Fuentes, Executive Director, Rural Community Workers Alliance
This bill will address some of the most urgent protections workers need to ensure they have dignity and safety as they work to put food on our tables. Please urge your elected representatives to support this bill.