STOP SANDERSON FARMS
FROM FOWLING OUR WATER
Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.
It is like a broken record. Jobs are the major reason that many are pushing for this plant to locate in Fayetteville. There is nothing wrong with that at all, jobs are a good thing. But not all jobs are equal, and a large processing plant does not necessarily mean lower unemployment.
The employee retention of the poultry industry is abysmal. In an article about John Tyson taking over the Tyson chicken empire several years ago Fortune magazine summed it up well. Here is an excerpt:
"Put simply, Tyson is struggling to find enough cheap, unskilled labor to staff its processing plants. Turnover is extremely high, between 40% and 100% annually, meaning each of the company's 83 plants needs between 400 and 2,000 new workers every year. "Finding enough labor is a problem the entire industry is facing," acknowledges Tyson co-COO Greg Lee. Meat and poultry processing is unappealing work; it's difficult, dirty, and dangerous. Tasks involve repetitive movements (workers sometimes perform the same motion 30,000 times a shift), and knife-wielding employees work perilously close together as they struggle to keep up with the production line. Injury statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 2000 reveal that one out of every seven poultry workers was injured on the job, more than double the average for all private industries. Poultry workers are also 14 times more likely to suffer debilitating injuries stemming from repetitive trauma--like "claw hand" (in which the fingers lock in a curled position) and ganglionic cysts (fluid deposits under the skin)." (Source: Fortune Magazine)
Once Sanderson has churned through all the local employees that actually want to work, they will have to bus in workers from out of town just like Smithfield does. See this page for more info and sources.
We Have More to Offer
Fayetteville, more than any other city in the nation should be aware that the soldiers we send overseas to risk their lives are well trained. Our workforce has a lot to offer companies that want to locate here. Perhaps efforts need to be renewed to actively recruit the type of industry that will have a positive effect on the quality of life or everyone. Our workforce consists of many soldiers who have experience with high tech weapons systems and computers, logistics and management. As they come home from Afghanistan what are we offering them? The “opportunity” to stand in a cold wet room and repetitively cut chickens apart?
According to Cumberland Counties own website “almost 75% of the county residents are high school graduates and 24% hold a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree” The site also goes on to say “Many of its residents first came here as part of a military family and chose to stay after leaving military service or retirement.” (Source: Cumberland County Website) Is this the kind of work those getting out of the military are looking for? Is this type of work they want their children to do? Come on Cumberland County, we are better than this. Do we want to settle for being a source of "cheap unskilled labor to staff processing plants"?
The Jobs Offered are Dangerous
According to Fortune magazine, "[OSAH] statistics for 2000 reveal that one out of every seven poultry workers was injured on the job, more than double the average for all private industries. Poultry workers are also 14 times more likely to suffer debilitating injuries stemming from repetitive trauma"
In fact a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study recently completed in a South Carolina poultry processing plant concluded that “42% of workers in the study had evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome, and 41% of workers in the study worked in jobs involving hand activity and force above recommended limits for minimizing risk of carpel tunnel syndrome.” (Source: Centers For Disease Control)
Here is what the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has to say about the hazards present at poultry slaughter and evisceration facilities:
“Many poultry processing jobs involve factors that increase the risk of developing work-related injuries or illness. These factors include risks for musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and include repetition, force, awkward and static postures. Exposures to disinfectant chemicals or chemical byproducts have been known to cause respiratory irritation and asthma. Spices, flour, and coatings have been linked to bronchitis, cough, and allergic reactions. Cold temperatures have been associated with increased injuries as well as musculoskeletal disorders. Infectious agents, such as bacteria, have caused increased rates of diarrheal diseases and other skin infections.”
In short are these really jobs to be bragging about? Do you want your children or grandchildren working these jobs? Do you want to work this job? Doing non-stop work in a cold wet environment with the constant pressure of an assembly line, and running a very high risk of permanent damage to ones health is a long way from the high tech jobs that were originally envisioned for the Cedar Creek Business park.
Let's get serious about putting together a incentive package that a QUALITY employer can't turn down. The type employer who will raise the quality of life in our community not lower it. We have the business park ready to go, the economy is finally picking up after the recession, let's not give up. If we wait, and work at it sooner or later we will get the right company in there to get the business park started and the jobs and growth will follow.
Why would the the Economic Development Council of any city be against 1100 new jobs?
See the video below to see why the spokesperson for the Economic Development Council told the Mayor of Wilson NC the the council was 100% against Sanderson Farms locating there.
The Real Cost of These Jobs
If you are a official reading this please stop and think. Do you want your children working there? Yes, Sanderson Farms will provide jobs that will increase the counties tax base. But what cost to these jobs really come at?
• They come at a huge cost to the workers in these plants who run much higher than normal heath risks.
• They come with a real risk to our clean water.
• There is a very good chance the workers will not be residents of Cumberland County.
• They come at a cost to our home and land values.
• They come at a cost to our quality of life.
• They carry the cost of road traffic both in and out. Eleven hundred employees daily and over 1 million live chickens in every week along
with an equal number chickens going out will affect our roads.
• They come with a risk of raised rates from PWC to due to the need spend more to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.
• With Sanderson coming into the park we can be sure no other companies will want to be nearby. It is not likely any high tech companies (or any other companies at all for that matter) will be setting up shop near a chicken processor. So they comes with the most expensive price . . hope.
The bottom line is that the cost of having Sanderson Farms in Cumberland County is considerable. Is this really the direction we want to go? Do we really want to sell out to big chicken? Are we that cheap that we can be "bought" by what quite possible may be some of the worse jobs in America?
Click on the box below and let ALL your elected officials know how you feel.