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2015-10-28

Perdue Farms Statement on Oxfam Report


We find it curious that Oxfam has included Perdue in their campaign when we have been a leader in worker safety and associate health and wellness programs.

As one of the major employers in many of our communities, we recognize our responsibility to provide a safe, productive and rewarding workplace. We provide competitive wages, including hourly production pay rates significantly above minimum wage, and paid time off earned according to hours worked and seniority. We offer comprehensive benefits with options for medical, dental and vision coverage; life and disability insurance options and a competitive 401(k) savings plan with matching contributions, along with medical and dependent care pre-tax flexible spending accounts.

We comply with all applicable wage and hour laws and regulations, including those related to minimum wage, overtime compensation, piece rate, and any/all legally mandated benefits. Further, we ensure all associates work within the limits of regular and overtime hours. 

Workplace safety metrics and associate safety 

Our workplace safety metrics are tracked and verified. We measure workplace safety against internal goals to drive continuous improvement, and benchmark against OSHA and industry statistics. These metrics underscore the success of our safety and wellness programs.

  • Perdue’s companywide lost-time rate for 2013 was 0.16 per 100 associates as compared to .80 per 100 workers nationwide for all industries combined,  according the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of August 2015, Perdue’s lost-time rate was 0.17 per 100 associates.
  • For 2013, Perdue’s companywide OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate is 2.23 as compared to the current Poultry Industry rate of 4.50, and is also better than the Goods Producing rate of 3.90. 
  • Most recently, 21 Perdue Farms’ facilities in nine states, including 15 of the company’s food-producing plants, were recognized by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council for outstanding safety performance for consistently implementing innovative and effective safety and health processes and systems. 
    • A total of 15 facilities, including 12 poultry plants, received Awards of Distinction — the Council’s highest honor. The award criteria required these facilities to maintain their key Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety metrics — Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART), and Lost Work Day Incident Rate (LWDIR) — at levels at least 50 percent better than the industry average for three consecutive years. Award consideration was also based on each facility’s written explanation of its safety programs and processes.
    • Six Perdue facilities, including feed mills and hatcheries, were recognized with the Award of Honor. These facilities maintained their OSHA safety metrics at least 25 percent better than the industry average for at least three straight years. 
    • In the past two years, Perdue facilities in Tennessee and North Carolina have been recognized by their respective states’ Departments of Labor for outstanding safety performance.

Workplace injuries

If an associate is injured on the job, he or she is required to report the injury immediately. This is to protect the associate, and to enable us to quickly address any potential safety hazard. Associate choice of health care provider to treat an occupational injury or illness is in accordance with the laws of each state. Our goal is always for the associate to return safely to work as soon as possible. It is neither policy nor practice to punish associates who have been injured on the job. The only cases in which employment has been terminated following an injury are when the associate has committed a serious violation of safety procedures. 

Paid time off

Paid time off is earned according to hours worked and seniority, and is part of the associates’ compensation. Accrual of paid time off and hours taken is clearly reported on each pay stub. 

Personal protective equipment 

Perdue supplies all required personal protective equipment (PPE) and food safety equipment. If an associate loses company-supplied personal protective equipment, the associate may be charged for replacement. If the job or work environment requires steel-toed footwear, those are provided. If only slip-resistant footwear is required, associates typically chose and purchase their own footwear, which can also be worn outside the plant. (In cooking plants, footwear is provided and never leaves the specific production area, as a food safety measure.)

Empowering associates

We believe direct associate empowerment through open lines of communication and direct access to supervisors and management promotes a more effective work environment than union representation. Our associate engagement programs, peer review panels that provide associate redress and open-door policy has a proven record of empowering associates.  

As part of Perdue’s people-first philosophy, associates have the right to be heard by all levels of management to resolve a conflict or misunderstanding through the Open Door Policy. Associates are encouraged to use the Open Door Policy include when they disagree with management decisions, have a question about company policy, or have issues about their work schedule.  

If an associate feels their concern has not been satisfactorily resolved through the Open Door Policy, associates have the right to be heard through Peer Review and Management Review processes for complaints involving disciplinary action or termination. 

In addition, we offer an anonymous toll-free hotline to report illegal or unethical activity in the workplace. Calls made to this number will be kept confidential, and associates don’t have to give their name if they don’t want to. 

Wellness Centers

The majority of our facilities offer Wellness Centers, fully equipped doctors offices, staffed by healthcare providers from the community. The doctors, specialists and therapists who serve our associates at the Wellness Center are part of our preferred provider network. Associates can see a doctor, specialist or therapist during work hours, without losing pay. Associates are not limited in their choices of providers, but the Wellness Center offers the lowest co-pay ($15 for associates participating in Perdue’s health coverage). 

Wellness Centers are a part of Perdue's comprehensive health and wellness program, which also includes the Perdue Health Improvement Program (HIP). HIP focuses on eliminating lifestyle risk factors, managing controllable diseases and creating an environment of health in the workplace. HIP received national recognition as a C. Everett Koop Health Award winner and was honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with a Secretary's Innovation in Prevention Award. 

For more information, please visit the Associates section of our Corporate Responsibility Report or our Statement on Wages, Working Conditions and Our Responsibility to Our Associates and Communities. 

 

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