March 12, 2018
Members of UFCW Local 700 who work at Maple Leaf Farms in Milford, Indiana, recently won a health and safety improvement in their plant. The workers, who process ducks at the plant, began to report health related issues, including eye irritation and respiratory problems, as a result of exposure to Microtox, a disinfectant commonly used in the poultry industry.
UFCW Local 700 Union Rep Juan Garcia and Executive Assistant to the President Scott Barnett immediately began an investigation, including a visit from Robyn Robbins, the director of the UFCW’s Occupational Safety and Health Office. Representatives from UFCW Local 700 and the company also met to address worker safety concerns around the use of Microtox.
As a result of the labor-management meeting, the company temporarily discontinued the use of Microtox, took steps to reduce splashing, dripping and spillage, and ordered a new air monitoring system to monitor the levels of Microtox. UFCW Local 700 has created a new workplace survey regarding the impact of this chemical.
Thanks to the quick action of UFCW Local 700 staff and assistance from the International, we were able to effectively address issues regarding the health and safety of our members.