Three of the biggest poultry processors in the U.S. will settle claims by the Justice Department over their alleged efforts to work together to drive down employee compensation.
Reuters said Cargill, Sanderson Farms, and Wayne Farms agreed to pay a combined $84 million in restitution to workers harmed by their alleged information sharing in order to settle civil antitrust lawsuits.
The Antitrust Division of the DOJ said in a statement that through a “brazen scheme” to exchange wage and benefit information, these producers stifled competition and harmed a generation of plant workers who face demanding and sometimes dangerous conditions to earn a living.
The settlement was filed on Monday in a Maryland District Court shortly after the lawsuits got filed. Wayne Farms says the settlement shows the company’s commitment to its workers and farmers. Cargill admitted no wrongdoing but said it settled with the Justice Department to avoid further litigation.