‘Accidents’ happen

When a corporation sets up a workplace that routinely results in maiming, mangling, sickening, disabling, and even killing workers, those outcomes are not “accidents.” They are intentional, immoral decisions by executives and investors to increase profits by treating the human beings who produce the corporate product as disposable.

To cover up this wholly unethical, cost-of-doing-business approach, meatpacking profiteers put out a stream of BS to extol their industry’s commitment to the wellbeing of its beloved family of employees. In May, for example, Tyson Foods ran a full-page ad in various newspapers so that its board chair, John Tyson, could expound on how his $40-billion chicken-pork-beef colossus “places team member safety as our top priority.”

Bovine excrement! Priority number one is the relentless pursuit of shareholder profit, including, of course, that of billionaire shareholder John Tyson. His company is an industry leader in pushing lawmakers and courts to weaken worker protections and deny workers compensation when “accidents” happen. Food writer Eric Schlosser recently uncovered a damning waiver that Tyson Foods requires injured workers to sign before the company will provide any medical care:

I hereby voluntarily release, waive, and forever give up all my rights, claims, and causes of action, whether now or arising in the future, that I may have against the company, Tyson Foods, Inc., and their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies and all of their officers, directors, owners, employees, and agents that arise out of or are in any way related to injuries (including a subsequent or resulting death) sustained in the course of my employment with the company.

Failure to sign is grounds for dismissal.

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