George’s poultry workers in Springdale walk out to protest COVID-19 conditions


This story was first published by the nonprofit news outlet Facing South.

On Tuesday morning, about 30 workers at a George’s poultry plant in Springdale staged a walkout to protest their working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The family-owned company, one of the 10 biggest poultry producers in the U.S., is headquartered in Springdale. It also operates processing plants in Virginia and Missouri as well as a prepared foods division in Tennessee, with more than 4,800 employees across all locations. The plant that workers walked out of is one of the company’s three plants in Springdale and is not unionized.


The Springdale walkout, which the workers plan to continue until their demands are met, was the first labor action of its kind by poultry workers in the state, said Magaly Licolli, the leader of Venceremos, a workers’ justice organization based in Northwest Arkansas. It’s significant that it happened in Springdale, one of the country’s largest poultry-producing cities and home to the corporate headquarters of Tyson, the country’s largest chicken producer. While Arkansas historically has one of the lowest levels of union participation in the country, a larger percentage of the state’s workforce has become unionized in recent years.

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