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[Excerpt] This report covers workers’ rights in the U.S. meat and poultry industry in three broad areas of human rights concern: worker health and safety and related rights to compensation for workplace injuries, freedom of association, and the status of immigrant workers. It follows Unfair Advantage: Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States under International Human Rights Standards, a Human Rights Watch report published in 2000.4 Based on an examination of a dozen industrial and service sectors of the U.S. economy in as many states, Unfair Advantagedocumented widespread violations of workers’ organizing rights and severe deficiencies in the content of U.S. labor law and in the labor law enforcement system.

In Blood, Sweat, and Fear we focus on workers’ rights violations in the beef, pork, and poultry slaughtering and processing industry. The report concentrates on workplace health and safety, workers’ compensation, workers’ organizing rights, and the status of immigrant workers because our research uncovered systemic violations in these areas.


Suggested Citation
Compa, L. (2004). Blood, sweat, and fear: Workers’ rights in U.S. meat and poultry plants [Electronic version]. New York, NY: Human Rights Watch.

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright held by Human Rights Watch. Reprinted with permission.