The chicken industry has consistently increased in sales and consumption across the United States since the 1960s, with Americans overwhelmingly purchasing the poultry more than beef and other meat products. One would think the backbone of the burgeoning industry, the factory employees who work each day manufacturing their product, would see the benefits of such great success — instead, they're being feared into wearing diapers to avoid losing their jobs, while working in unsanitary, unsafe conditions.
Oxfam America's recently released report, "No Relief," and Debbie Berkowitz's inside look at factory conditions for Quartz reveals one major consistent factor in the industry for workers: They're not allowed to take a bathroom break.
"Not only is it embarrassing and degrading, it's also extremely uncomfortable to feel the warm urine in the frigid environment and to wear wet clothing in 40 degree temperatures," Berkowitz wrote. "While the poultry industry enjoys record profits and pumps out billions of chickens, life inside the processing plant remains grim and dangerous."
Oxfam America supports the plight of the chicken factory employees. The report also notes there are four companies with a stronghold on the poultry market: Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's, Perdue and Sanderson Farms, who control 60% of the industry.
The organization is now campaigning against Tyson Foods, demanding the corporation to allow its employees to take bathroom breaks, as well as safer working conditions, using the hashtag #GiveThemABreak across social media.
"Tyson and other leading poultry companies seem to think bathroom breaks are a job perk," one ad notes. "Tyson: Get real. Give your workers a break."