A group of activists and former employees demonstrated outside of the Sanderson Farms poultry plant in Bryan, Texas, to protest what they consider unfair working conditions.
Protesters represented the organizations Centro de Derechos Laborales, Interfaith Worker Justice, Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network and the Council for Minority Student Affairs, according to a report from KBTX.
The protesters on October 2 alleged that the company denies the workers bathroom breaks and that employees are subjected to sexual harassment.
However, Sanderson Farms told the news outlet that the company does not participate in or condone such treatment of workers and said the allegations do not have any merit.
"The same labor group has made these allegations before in Mississippi," said Sanderson Farms Chief Financial Officer Mike Cockrell. "We denied they were accurate then and we deny they're accurate now. Such allegations, they're frankly offensive. The idea that anyone would treat another human being like that is difficult to imagine and if that happened in our plant those supervisors would be terminated immediately."
Sanderson Farms, the third largest broiler company in the United States, produced 82.5 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2017, an increase of 10.1 million pounds – or about 14 percent – from 2016, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database.
The company’s complex in Bryan in 2014 was recognized for its water conservation efforts. The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District, which protects and conserves the groundwater resources of Brazos and Robertson counties presented Sanderson Farms with the Industrial Groundwater Conservationist of the Year award for the company’s efforts to reduce the operation’s impact on aquifers within the conservation district.