Objective: Discuss worker safety and labor practices.
Background: This company is a large processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork. The company has one of the worst results in the industry when it comes to total recordable incident rate (TRI). In response, the company made a commitment to a 15% year-on-year reduction and they expanded their safety communications program.
Oxfam America released a report called No Relief: denial of bathroom breaks in the poultry industry in May 2016. It outlined issues such as low wages, injuries and a climate of fear at the top chicken companies, including this company, which control roughly 60% of the US market. In addition, there have been a number of class actions and settlements regarding labor practices (wages/hour claims and discrimination) over recent years.
In January 2018, our equities, fixed income and ESG analyst covering the company jointly engaged with the Chief Human Resources Officer to address our concerns and recommendations.