TDU Members Win in Supreme Court

December 5, 2005: TDU members who filed a class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods have won a landmark victory at the Supreme Court that will put millions in the hands of more than 800 meatpacking workers and help tens of thousands of poultry workers win litigation for unpaid wages.

In the first decision of the court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court cleared the way for 815 Tyson employees to receive $7.3 million in a class action suit originally filed by TDU members in Pasco, Washington in 1998.

In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that workers should be paid for the time it takes them to put on their protective clothing and walk from the locker room to the production line. Previously, Tyson management saved millions of dollars by forcing workers to do this work off the clock.

The case was closely watched by organized labor and big business alike. The victory means that tens of thousands of poultry workers will likely succeed in two nationwide class action cases that are now pending against Tyson.

The Supreme Court victory also paves the way for workers to collect an additional $11.4 million in unpaid wages that they were awarded in 2004 a second class action lawsuit against Tyson. More litigation is expected.

“It took a long time, but it was worth the wait just to show that workers can win when we get together,” said Maria Martinez, a Teamster and TDU leader who was the main organizer behind both lawsuits.
Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

UPS Teamsters United Zoom Event: Moving from Problems to Solutions

Join a UPS Teamsters United national zoom event to talk about how we can move from problems to solutions in upcoming negotiations and how you can get involved in the UPS contract campaign, Sunday, October 16 at noon ET / 11am CT / 10am MT / 9am PT.

Rank-and-File UPSers Share Sample Contract Proposals

Rank-and-file UPSers have compiled sample contract proposal ideas for the National Master Agreement. Click here to see what they've come up with. And make sure you attend your local union’s proposal meeting.

View More News Posts