Pilgrim’s Pride Settles Wage Collusion Lawsuit

July 9, 2021
Pilgrim’s Pride has reached a $29 million settlement with workers who claim the company conspired with competitors to keep their wages low.

Pilgrim’s Pride has reached a $29 million settlement with workers who claim the company conspired with competitors to keep their wages low.

If approved by a Maryland federal judge, the settlement will remove Pilgrim’s Pride from a class-action lawsuit brought in 2019 by five poultry processing plant workers. Pilgrim’s Pride, majority-owned by JBS SA, will also cooperate with the plaintiffs by turning over documents and making employees available for deposition.

The case continues against Pilgrim’s co-defendants, who include Tyson Foods, Koch Foods and other processors. The plaintiffs allege that the companies traded information at secret meetings and through other means to keep wages depressed for their processing plant workers.

An attorney for the plaintiffs told Law360 that the settlement provided just compensation “for the class of workers who were deprived of fair compensation for their grueling and dangerous work.”

The settlement is the latest for Pilgrim’s Pride in a variety of legal troubles. It agreed in October to pay a $110.5 million fine to settle federal price-fixing charges, in a case that resulted in the indictment of two former CEOs. It also agreed to a $75 million settlement in a price-fixing case brought by trade customers.

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