Three poultry companies have agreed to settle, for a collective $84.8 million, a lawsuit claiming that they conspired to drive down wages for their workers.
Sanderson Farms, Wayne Farms and Cargill Meat Solutions signed off on the agreement and on Sept. 9 asked the judge hearing the federal case to approve it. The companies admit no wrongdoing.
The three companies, along with co-defendants who have not settled, are accused of sharing information about wages and benefits with competitors to hold down labor costs. The three that settled had agreed in July to pay about $84 million in federal civil penalties relating to the same allegations. They also agreed to cooperate with a compliance monitor for the next 10 years.
The co-defendants who have not settled include Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms.