03/10/2011 - Perdue Farms Inc. is outsourcing the jobs of about 100 chicken catchers, who do the strenuous, dirty job of gathering chickens and stuffing them into crates for transport to poultry plants. It claims competition requires the cost-cutting move. Outsourcing will allow Perdue to pay full-time workers about $20,000 – a substandard wage for grueling work.
Perdue’s treatment of essential workers like chicken catchers has a grim history. In 2001, Delmarva chicken catchers won a $2.4 million payment suit for back overtime pay, ending the practice of not paying for overtime. In contrast, Mountaire workers in Selbyville enjoy collective bargaining rights.
The Perdues have given millions to Salisbury University. I am grateful for this gift to a wonderful university, but I wonder why Perdue cannot pay its devoted workers a living wage.
Read the full letter to the editor and comments to Perdue's Outsourcing Hurts Workers, Damages Economy on Delaware Online's Web site.