Chicken farmers in the United States filed a lawsuit against Tyson Foods Inc., Perdue Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride Co., Sanderson Farms and other big poultry companies for allegedly conspiring to depress their pay.
According to the civil lawsuit filed in a federal court in Oklahoma, the poultry companies illegally agreed to share data on grower pay with one another to keep compensation below competitive levels.
Tyson, the largest chicken company in the US, called the allegations “false claims.” The company stated that average contract farmer has been working with their company for 15 years with compensation fixed in contracts that the employees voluntarily accepted.
“We want our contract farmers to succeed and don’t consult competitors about how our farmers are paid,” Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said.
It wasn’t the first accusation of improper collusion in the industry.
Last year, a lawsuit alleged that Tyson had colluded with other companies in the broiler chicken business to reduce production since 2008. Tyson disputed the allegations at the time.