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The nation’s chicken-processing companies created a covert cartel to suppress wages paid to many Americans and immigrants, according to a lawsuit by the Handley Farah & Anderson law firm in Washington D.C.
“For more than a decade, Defendants have conspired and combined to fix and depress the compensation paid to non-supervisory production and maintenance employees at chicken processing plants in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman [antitrust] Act,” says the lawsuit, which was filed August 30 in a Baltimore court.
Defendants - Conspiracy - Labor - Costs - Profits
“Defendants formed and implemented the conspiracy to reduce labor costs and maximize profits,” and should be required to pay damage to their “hundreds of thousands” of swindled employees, including many uneducated legal and illegal immigrants, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit is aided by at least two unidentified witnesses from the industry, which includes Sanderson Farms, Koch Foods, Tysons Foods, Perdue, and some of the Georgia companies that were visited by federal law enforcement officials in early August. The 18 firms and their 200 processing plants deliver 90 percent of the chicken sold in the United States and employ 250,000 people, said the lawsuit.
Lawsuit - Lawsuit - Silicon - Valley - Apple
The lawsuit echoes the salary-fixing lawsuit in Silicon Valley where Apple, Google, and other high-tech firms settled after being accused of conspiring to suppress wages for American computer graduates. The 64,000 victims only got $415 million in September 2015 for lost wages from 2004 to 2009. That payout was only $5,800 per victim.
The chicken lawsuit says:
January - Defendants - Wages - Benefits - Class
Since January 1, 2009, Defendants have conspired to fix and depress the hourly wages and benefits paid to Class Members. Defendants have engaged in this unlawful conspiracy to maximize their profits by reducing labor costs, which have comprised a substantial share of each Defendant Processor’s total operating costs.
Third, managers located at Defendant Processors’ chicken processing plants engaged in bilateral and regional exchanges of wage and...
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