Red Meat Wages

Nov 01, 2022

Brown v. JBS USA Food Company, et al., Case No. 1:22-cv-02946-STV (United States District of Colorado)

This is a class action lawsuit against the leading red meat producers in the United States for allegedly conspiring to fix and depress the compensation paid to hundreds of thousands of workers at red meat processing plants.

The defendants named in the lawsuit include 12 red meat processors (“Defendant Red Meat Processors”)—such as Tyson Foods, Inc., JBS USA Food Company, and National Beef Packing Co.—that produce more than 80 percent of the red meat sold in the United States. Two consulting companies that facilitate the exchange of compensation data—Agri Stats, Inc. (“Agri Stats”) and Webber, Meng, Sahl and Company, Inc. (“WMS”)—are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The Defendant Red Meat Processors operate dozens of processing plants in the continental United States. These processing plants employ hundreds of thousands of workers who process live cattle and pigs into red meat products sold to retailers and consumers. The lawsuit alleges that, since January 1, 2014, the defendants have conspired to fix and depress the compensation paid to workers in red meat processing plants in violation of the federal antitrust laws.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants formed, implemented, monitored and enforced the conspiracy to fix and depress compensation paid to Class Members through a series of overt acts, including: secret surveys that contained current and future data; secret, in-person meetings where roundtable discussion were held about optimal compensation rates; inter-defendant communications about current and future compensation rates; and exchanging compensation data on monthly basis through Agri Stats.

The lawsuit alleges that the intended and actual effect of defendants’ conspiracy to fix compensation has been to reduce and suppress the wages and benefits paid to workers in poultry processing plants to levels materially lower than they would have been in a competitive market.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a class consisting of non-managerial persons employed by the Defendant Red Meat Processors at red meat processing plants in the continental United States from January 1, 2014 until the present. The lawsuit seeks to prevent the defendants from continuing their conspiracy and to recover financial damages for the class of workers.

A copy of the complaint is available HERE.

If you have any questions concerning this case, or would like to share information related to this case, please contact attorney George Farah at [email protected] or 212-477-8090.

We are lawyers who seek to improve the world. We fight for: workers deprived of wages, consumers deceived about products, tenants denied access to housing, farmers mistreated by processors, parents deprived of adequate parental leave, investors who were defrauded, small businesses harmed by antitrust violations, persons with disabilities denied access, whistleblowers who uncover fraud, and women and communities of color subject to discrimination.

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