UCFW files lawsuit over pork line speeds
Public Citizen and United Food and Commercial Workers, representing three local unions, filed a suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minneapolis to stop the Agriculture Department’s recently announced rule that would allow pork plants to speed up the slaughter line.
Public Citizen and UFCW also noted that the rule reduces the number of government safety inspectors by 40% at pork slaughter and processing plants.
USDA has said the rule will modernize pork inspection, but the lawsuit argues that the USDA’s refusal to consider the harms its actions will have on workers reflects arbitrary and capricious decision making and thus violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
“There are two basic principles of administrative law: agencies cannot simply refuse to address concerns about the impacts of their actions, and they must acknowledge and explain when they change their positions,” said Adam Pulver, attorney for Public Citizen.
“By refusing to even discuss the mountains of evidence showing that faster line speeds will put workers’ health at risk, after acknowledging the importance of considering worker safety in its proposed rule, the USDA broke these two bedrock rules.”