vegansaurus!

10/28/2011

Hog farm sued for ignoring sexual harassment   »

A woman who used to work at hog “producing” company Murphy-Brown (really?) sued the corporation for ignoring sexual harassment that occurred there:

[The plaintiff] says she and her co-workers were subjected to peepholes in the women’s showers, their underwear being stolen from their lockers and found wet with a substance one reported to be semen, unwanted groping and hugging by male workers, and sex-related drawings in a break room.

Murphy-Brown’s lawyers said they did everything they could to stop the harassment. They also suggested the women drilled the peepholes themselves? OK. The jury decided the corporation didn’t take adequate measures to stop the harassment but didn’t act in malice, so they awarded the plaintiff $30,000.

Not that sexual harassment doesn’t happen everywhere all the time, but the meat industry has a history of not giving a shit about its employees. We’ve all read “Blood, Sweat, and Fear" by now, right? Smithfield Foods, the corporation that owns Murphy-Brown, is allover that study. But here’s Smithfield’s policy on harassment:

Smithfield is committed to providing our employees with a nondiscriminatory work environment free of any type of harassment per company policy and the law. Supervisory employees must investigate all complaints of harassment and employees are advised on their responsibility to report violations. The company will take appropriate disciplinary actions for violation of policy or law.

"Free of any type of harassment" means free of sexual harassment. But they don’t mention sexual harassment specifically, which is a big red flag to me. You don’t even address it in your workers’ rights policies? At least pretend you care about it on paper.

Like I said, sexual harassment happens allover all the time but here’s my main point: If they can’t keep their own employees safe, how can we trust them to keep “humane” conditions for the animals they are charged with? Animals who can’t complain to the boss, who are completely helpless and voiceless?

For a laugh, a quote from Murphy-Brown’s site:

"At Murphy-Brown, our commitment to producing high-quality pork products while protecting the environment and promoting animal welfare isn’t just a motto, it’s how we operate."

Yeeeah, doubt it.

As a bonus, here’s the Humane Society’s video on gestation crates and conditions for hogs at Smithfield Foods:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]

Keep up the good work, bros. 

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