Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Morristown Workers Fight For Rights

Last month, I told you about efforts of workers at Koch Foods to create a union to gain some rights as employees, and today the NY Times picks up the story.

Hour after hour, Antonia Lopez Paz said, her supervisor at the Koch Foods poultry plant here told women on the deboning line that production demands were so great that they could not go to the bathroom."

"What I didn't like is they would yell at us and tell us we're good for nothing and we didn't know how to work, and sometimes they wouldn't even let us leave to go home when we were sick," Ms. Lopez said as she nursed her month-old son. "We need to convince people to join the union, that they shouldn't be afraid because the union is the only way to make things better and stop them from mistreating at us."

Even though no one from Koch would answer reporters' questions, they are not trying to fight this campaign. Perhaps they see the handwriting on the wall with policies that put the highest pay at $7.55 an hour even if you have been employed for as a long as a decade.

The full article is here. (reg. required) Also Kim Miller at Tennessee Independent Media Center has been working this story.


  1. My dad did a few months with Burnett's back in the 80's, after Phillips/Magotbox screwed he and mom. He said it was "third-world-slave-shopesque"

  2. Anonymous9:48 AM

    it's not an easy job..it sounds like it ...but consider 8 to 10 hours (or more)on your feet, with the smell of dead poultry wafting about, in a line doing repetative work that most people would find apalling, at best!
    i worked a chicken (poultry) ranch with my grandparents as a kid and can tell you from experience that chickens are not the cleanest creatures on the planet.
    industrial factory's pay better wages for their line workers.
    i am not a flag waver for the unions, however, if it does what it is intended to do and helps grant workers fair wages for time worked, and protects them from harrassment (of any kind). then it can't be an all bad thing. i cringe as i say this, due to first hand head ons with another union organization,which lined the pockets of it's union leaders while offering less than diplomatic solutions to resolve disputes. (one individual will walk with a limp for the rest of his life due to the union leaders car, which...lost control and ran him over!)
    everything has the oportunity to take a bad turn..welcome to life...but fair is fair. it's what we all should hope for...and expect otherwise.