Pilgrim's Pride Corp., a subsidiary of JBS, has reached a $29 million settlement with workers who claim it conspired with other poultry companies to keep their wages low.
In addition to the monetary settlement, which must be approved by a Maryland federal judge, Pilgrim's agreed to cooperate with the plaintiffs' case against the remaining defendants in the suit, which include other large poultry companies such as Tyson Foods Inc. and Koch Foods LLC, according to the settlement filed Friday.
The settlement requires Pilgrim's to allow the deposition of five of its employees and turn over a trove of documents related to the accusations. The plaintiffs also agreed not to bring additional claims against Pilgrim's arising from this particular case.
"The settlement agreement allows plaintiffs to secure key evidence — in the form of documents, deposition testimony, and trial testimony — from Pilgrim's and its employees," the settlement said.
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The workers allege in the 2019 lawsuit that the poultry processors, which together own and run roughly 200 poultry plants in the United States, held clandestine meetings and traded information in an effort to tamp down wages for hundreds of thousands of workers at their facilities. The suit also names two consulting companies, Webber Meng Sahl & Co. Inc. and Agri Stats Inc., that the workers allege were part of the scheme.
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The workers are represented by Matthew Handley, Rachel Nadas, George Farah, Rebecca Chang and William Anderson of Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC, Daniel Small, Benjamin Brown, Brent Johnson, Daniel Silverman, Alison Deich and Zach Glubiak of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Steve Berman, Breanna Van Engelen, Shana Scarlett and Rio Pierce of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.
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