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Ethics Within The Meat Packing Industry, Comparison Of Utilitarian And Deontological Perspectives

1667 words - 7 pages

"The meat slaughtering, processing, and packaging industry has long been associated with a high rate of accidents, injuries, and illnesses."1Many reports are now highlighting the dangerous working conditions workers in the meat industry ensure on a daily basis. For this reason the industry as a whole has come under a lot of scrutiny by government agencies and human rights groups. Over the years, America's meat packing industry has become the focus of increasing scrutiny by governmental protection agencies and human rights groups. Human Rights Watch has uncovered facts demonstrating how poor conditions really are for employees and how many on-the-job injuries go unreported. Human Rights Watch published its findings after researching the issue in a 175-page report titled "Blood, Sweat and Fear." As a result of its findings, Human Rights Watch presented a series of recommendations aimed at improving working conditions for laborers in the industry. The recommendations that Human Rights Watch proposed after conducting its investigation are well founded and can only benefit all involved in the meat industry."In meat and poultry plants across the United States, Human Rights Watch found that many workers face a real danger of losing a limb, or even their lives, in unsafe work conditions. It also found that companies frequently deny workers' compensation to employees injured on the job, intimidate and fire workers who try to organize, and exploit workers' immigrant status in order to keep them quiet about abuses"4 Most people understand that working in the meat and poultry packing industry is inherently dangerous. However, the danger level can be cut down significantly if standards are set an adhered to in this line of work. This was what Human Rights Watch found to be so unnerving. The fact that the conditions were "overly" dangerous and the fact that there seemed to be no adherence to any safety standards in the industry caused the group to take action. "Working conditions in the U.S. meat and poultry industry are so hazardous and the tactics that employers use to prevent workers from organizing so threatening that the industry consistently violates basic human rights. In sum, the United States is failing to meet its obligations under international human rights standards to protect the human rights of meat and poultry industry workers."2Due to the repetitive nature involved in the processing of meat and poultry on an assembly line, an alarming number of meat packers and poultry workers suffer as victims of cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs). "On each work shift, workers make up to 30,000 hard-cutting motions with sharp knives, causing massive repetitive motion injuries and frequent lacerations. Workers often do not receive compensation for workplace injuries because companies fail to report injuries, delay and deny claims, and take reprisals against workers who file them."3 The meat packing and poultry industry as a matter of practice keeps compensation...

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