September 03, 2019

The largest chicken processing companies in the U.S., including Tyson Foods Inc. and Perdue Farms Inc., are facing a proposed class action in Maryland federal court accusing them of a decade-long conspiracy to fix the wages of "hundreds of thousands" of workers.

Two former Tyson employees and a third person who used to work at George's Inc. filed suit on Friday, naming dozens of major poultry processors like Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Sanderson Farms Inc. and Koch Foods LLC, which they say control 90% of processed chicken production in the U.S. and rake in more than $30 billion annually.

According to the suit, the companies have conspired since 2009 to set wages for nearly a quarter-million workers each year in "off-the-books" meetings and through services provided by a unit of Eli Lilly and Co. called Agri Stats Inc. and a consultancy called Webber Meng Sahl and Co. Inc., which does business as WMS and Co. Inc.

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The plaintiffs are represented by Matthew K. Handley, George F. Farah and William A. Anderson of Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC, Daniel A. Small, Benjamin D. Brown, Brent W. Johnson and Alison S. Deich of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Steven W. Berman, Breanna Van Engelen, Shana E. Scarlett and Rio R. Pierce of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

The complete article can be viewed here.