Federal Judge Grants USDA’s Motion to Remand Question of Line Speed Waivers

A D.C. federal judge has granted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) motion to remand its waivers for poultry line speed limits for reconsideration by the agency in light of recent pig slaughter line speed trials. The order was granted in a lawsuit brought by five local labor unions and their international affiliate that challenged the waiver program in 2020 because it was implemented “without considering worker safety.” The judge found that the agency could resolve plaintiffs’ safety concerns “faster than the court” and ordered the USDA to produce reports on its review to the court within 90 and 150 days of the decision. The National Chicken Council had intervened in support of the USDA.