BLOOD, SWEAT, AND FEAR
Workers' Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants
Human Rights Watch
Copyright 2004 by Human Rights Watch.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Cover photo: 1999 Eugene Richards/Magnum Photos
Cover design by Rafael Jimenez
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Emeritus board members are Roland Algrant, Robert L. Bernstein (Founding Chair 1978-1997), William D. Carmichael, Adrian W. DeWind, Alice H. Henkin, Bruce Rabb, Gary Sick, and Malcolm B. Smith.
Lance Compa, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, is the principal researcher and author of this report. Human Rights Watch's U.S. program director Jamie Fellner is the principal editor and project manager and participated in field research for the report. Senior researcher Alison Parker and labor rights and trade researcher Carol Pier provided additional research, writing, and editorial assistance. CornellUniversity graduate Lisa Schapira provided research assistance, and Human Rights Watch program associates Paul Jacobs and Keramet Reiter provided staff support throughout the project. Keramet Reiter prepared the report for publication.
Joseph Saunders, deputy director in the Program Department, and James Ross, senior legal advisor, provided thorough program, policy, and legal reviews.
Human Rights Watch thanks the many representatives of community, immigrants' rights, religious, and trade union organizations in Nebraska, Arkansas, and North Carolina who facilitated field research for the meat and poultry case studies in this report. University-based researchers in those states joined these advocates in sharing their knowledge, experience, and insights to strengthen the report. Equal thanks go to scholars and analysts in other universities and in policy/research organizations who provided extensive information for the report.
Human Rights Watch also thanks human resources vice president Ken Kimbro of Tyson Foods, Inc. and corporate communications vice president Jerry Hostetter of Smithfield Foods, Inc. for providing information and perspective from their companies (and, in the case of Tyson Foods, Mr. Kimbro for arranging a lengthy telephone interview with other senior Tyson managers). Human Rights Watch also thanks officials from relevant labor, job safety, immigration, and other federal and state agencies who provided important information on matters covered in this report.
Finally, Human Rights Watch thanks the many meat and poultry industry workers who welcomed researchers into their homes in Omaha, Nebraska, Northwest Arkansas, and eastern North Carolina for the interviews that are the heart of this report. Muchas gracias.
Human Rights Watch thanks Peter B. Lewis for his contributions to the U.S. Program that made this report possible.We also appreciate the support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation for public education and advocacy about the human rights violations described in this report.
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