A new report released yesterday by Oxfam America is claiming that poultry production is coming at the expense of worker safety and while companies increased some safety measures, conditions are now “backsliding.”

The report alleges poultry plants aren’t providing enough paid sick leave or allowing for enough social distancing, based on interviews with workers, unions and their allies.

Responding to the report, NCC spokesman Tom Super said, “This is nothing more than another union propaganda piece. The health and safety of the essential employees working to keep chicken on our tables has and continues to be the industry’s number one priority. The measures mentioned in this report, and many others, have been implemented in poultry plants across the country since March.

“In response to COVID-19, chicken companies have added additional protective measures to help keep employees safe and healthy. Companies are following all of the CDC and local health department guidelines, including: social distancing, temperature checks, installing plastic barriers between work stations where social distancing is challenging, providing masks, face shields and gloves for workers, staggering shifts, making breakrooms available outside, multiple hand sanitizing stations, extra cleaning and sanitation of the plant, educating employees in multiple languages about steps to take at home to keep healthy, encouraging sick or vulnerable employees to stay home with paid sick leave, and testing for the virus.”

The data reflect a success story about the measures undertaken in the poultry industry. In Virginia as one example, 94% of the cases occurred in April and May, according to government data. In June, there were 25 cases. In July, there were 13 cases, and nearly midway through August there have been zero cases.

For more information on the many measures chicken companies have taken to keep workers safe, please click here.