Chicken plant rehires 35, pays $85,000 in rest breaks case

A Birdsboro, Berks County poultry plant has agreed to pay $85,000 in back wages to 35 workers, and offer them their jobs back, after they were fired Dec. 2 following a protest over the cancellation of their paid restroom breaks.

The chicken-packers downed tools after management declined to meet with them to discuss the cancelled breaks, which had "resulted in longer, grueling work shifts," according to the workers' lawyers, Arthur Read and Matthew Stark Rubin, of the nonprofit law firm Friends of Farmworkers Inc., Philadelphia, and paralegal Sol Maria Rivera.

The employer, Mehadrin Kosher Poultry LLC, later went out of business on the site. New operator MVP Kosher Foods agreed to the settlement, which ends the worker's complaint of unfair labor practices. MVP and its law firm didn't immediately respond to calls seeking comment. 


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