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  1. #51
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    This story combines issues over the virus at a meat packing plant and contentious labor negotiations.

    JBS workers walk out of Greeley plant amid pay negotiations
    Workers at the JBS meat processing plant in Greeley walked off the job Friday afternoon to amid negotiations regarding pay and safety improvements.
    According to state data, 287 workers at the plant have tested positive for COVID-19. Six plant workers have died.
    Additionally, five people at JBS’ corporate offices have tested positive for the virus; one of those workers has died.
    Abigail Silva, a worker at the plant, estimated more than 200 people walked off the processing line Friday.
    UFCW Local 7, the union representing workers, said it did not organize the walkout.
    https://kdvr.com/news/local/jbs-work...-negotiations/

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    This is a very long article.
    It explores the conditions at a chicken processing plant in North Carolina during the coronavirus outbreak. They are attempting to decertify the union while this is ongoing. Those folks are using an employee, who doesn't even speak English, to move that forward. It also speaks of the NLRB and OSHA, who both have been one sided lately. One other issue was the fact that exports of chicken products increased to the China all during the time we were told there were meat and chicken shortages. The company refuses to divulge how many people got sick or are still sick and working.
    The final comment I'll make is the low wages they are paid forces them to use Medicaid for healthcare instead of the employer providing them with healthcare.

    How Trump Is Helping Tycoons Exploit the Pandemic
    Nelson Hill, an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, told the small but boisterous crowd, which included top Democratic officials from the state, among them Senator Chris Coons. The union, part of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., represents some 1.3 million laborers in poultry-processing and meatpacking plants, as well as workers in grocery stores and retail establishments. Its members, many defined as “essential” workers—without the option of staying home—have been hit extraordinarily hard by the coronavirus. The union estimates that nearly thirty thousand of its workers in the food and health-care sectors have contracted covid-19, and that two hundred and thirty-eight of those have died.
    The jobs at Mountaire rank as among the most dangerous and worst paid in America. Government statistics indicate that poultry and meat-processing companies report more severe injuries than other industries commonly assumed to be more hazardous, including coal mining and sawmilling.
    The industry, which is dominated by large multinational corporations such as Mountaire, has grown increasingly concentrated, expanding its political influence while replacing unionized employees with contract hires, often immigrants or refugees.
    The National Labor Relations Board ordered an election at the Selbyville plant. When the union protested that this would violate the customary bar on overturning contracts before three years, the N.L.R.B. decided to broaden the case, reŽxamining the entire concept of barring challenges to settled union contracts. The move has shocked labor-law experts. By statute, the N.L.R.B. has five members and is bipartisan, but the Trump Administration has filled only three seats, all with Republicans.
    The prospect of food shortages understandably caused concern in the White House. Yet reports show that in April, as Tyson and other producers were warning that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” from American stores if they had to shut down, exports of pork to China broke records—and Mountaire’s chicken exports were 3.4 per cent higher than they were a year earlier. The next month, the company’s exports were 10.9 per cent lower than in 2019, but its exports to China and Hong Kong grew by 23.1 per cent in April and by fourteen per cent in May, according to statistics provided by Christopher Rogers, an analyst with Panjiva, which tracks the food-supply chain. Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, a progressive nonprofit advocacy group, said, “They were crying about shortages, and yet we’re still exporting meat. The shortage was phony.”
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...t-the-pandemic

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    Quote Originally Posted by fxstc07 View Post
    This story combines issues over the virus at a meat packing plant and contentious labor negotiations.

    JBS workers walk out of Greeley plant amid pay negotiations

    https://kdvr.com/news/local/jbs-work...-negotiations/
    They got a pay raise and the union is still negotiating over safety issues.

    JBS Employees Get Raise After Walking Off Job Over Pay Dispute
    The union that represents thousands of employees at the JBS beef plant says workers are getting a pay raise. JBS will give employees a $1.85 an hour wage increase.
    Some workers at the Greeley plant walked off the job earlier this month over the pay dispute. At least 286 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Six have been killed by the virus.
    The union says it will continue to fight for worker safety during the pandemic.
    https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/07/...%20the%20virus.

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  5. #54
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    This is an update on COVID inside the food processing industry.

    Update on Covid-19 among meatpacking workers: an American tragedy
    Leah Douglas at the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) is doing a great public service. She has a website where she reports Covid-19 cases among workers in the food system.

    These are not trivial. As of July 24, she reports Covid-19 cases in:

    370 meatpacking plants
    139 food processing plants
    74 farms and production facilities
    As for confirmed cases:

    37,197 meatpacking workers
    4,635 food processing workers
    4,927 farmworkers
    She reports 188 deaths among these workers

    168 among meatpacking workers
    14 among food processing workers
    6 among farmworkers
    https://www.foodpolitics.com/2020/07...rican-tragedy/

  6. #55
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    This is not meat packing but again having to do with the food supply. I watched this a week or two ago and it was very disturbing. This is from Frontline on PBS regarding the people working in the fields for our vegetables and takes place mostly in CA.

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/f...s-hidden-toll/

  7. #56
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    Wow, so China is setting the rules now? Not the reason for posting this but I do find this ironic. The reason for the post is because again we have a union watching out for the interest of the workers.

    Union calls for Maple Leaf Foods shutdown due to COVID cases


    United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 832 is calling for Maple Leaf Foods to temporarily shut down its Brandon, Man. Plant now that it has 70 positive cases of COVID-19 among workers.

    The union has sent a letter to the Minister of Health calling for a halt in production until case numbers stop increasing, and demanding further followup inspections by public health. And UFCW is pushing for the company to not schedule production on Saturdays.

    “Workers are scared to go to work each day as the number of COVID cases related to their workplace continues to increase.”
    The company also temporarily halted its exports to China due to recent protocols adopted by the Chinese government for Canadian processors that require any plant reporting a COVID-19-positive case to suspend exports to China temporarily.
    https://www.hrreporter.com/labour/ne...d-cases/332629

  8. #57
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    This story is about another large west coast food processor and conditions inside the plant located in Livingston CA.

    'They don't care about the workers': Foster Farms employee at Livingston plant says he's scared to go back
    Foster Farms has been ordered to shut down operations at their Livingston facility after eight employees die from COVID-19 and more than 350 employees test positive.
    The company declined to comment on the closure orders from the county, but Action News spoke with employees who say they were still told to come to work. That's likely because of a 48-hour stay on those orders to work out logistics for the closure.
    Saying that the Foster Farms plant is the site of the most severe and longest-lasting COVID-19 outbreak in Merced County, the health department issued shutdown orders Thursday.
    It's a move that has state and federal support.
    But a 48-hour stay is granting the company enough time to facilitate the logistics of closing.
    On Friday, you could see a packed employee parking lot and trucks operating as usual.
    Health officials say the true spread of the virus among employees is unknown.
    https://abc30.com/foster-farms-emplo...plant/6394566/

  9. #58
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    Smithfield has been slapped with a paltry fine over a lack of COVID protections for employees.

    Smithfield Foods fined by OSHA
    The Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, which in April became the top coronavirus hotspot in America, has been fined by the U.S. Department of Labor.
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a fine of $13,494 to the Smithfield Packaged Meats Corporation. The inspection date is listed April 20 to Sept. 2. The fine is for “one general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious harm.”
    More than 1000 positive cases were tied to Smithfield employees (910) and close contacts of Smithfield employees (210). Two Smithfield employees — Craig Franken and Agustin Rodriquez — died from the virus in April. OSHA is citing four total deaths related to Smithfield.
    OSHA is also citing at least 1,294 Smithfield workers have contracted coronavirus.
    https://www.keloland.com/keloland-co...fined-by-osha/

  10. #59
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    After the measly little fine imposed by OHSA, this article lays out how deadly US meat packing plants really are.

    America Is Lagging Behind the World in Protecting Meat Workers
    Meanwhile, the U.S. has yet to impose any mandatory safety measures on meatpackers to contain infections, issuing just voluntary guidelines. And the only federal citations against major meat processors resulted in fines of less than $16,000, decried as paltry by worker advocates. At the same time, an executive order from Donald Trump has kept plants running at full tilt since late April.
    The U.S. response “has been a mess,” said James Ritchie, assistant general secretary of the Geneva-based International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations. Trump’s order has been “downright dangerous” since it didn’t come with any U.S. federal agency issuing enforceable safety rules, Ritchie said.
    This month, U.S. regulators issued their first sanctions against meatpackers in connection with outbreaks. Smithfield Foods Inc. was fined $13,494 and JBS SA was issued a penalty of $15,615, drawing outrage from two senators, a former safety official and a major national union as being inadequate.
    Labor unions’ lobbying efforts to include mandatory Covid safety measures are “an uphill battle” said Rebecca Reindel, occupational safety and health director for the AFL-CIO. U.S. Meat Plants Are Deadly as Ever, With No Incentive to Change Efforts to win better safety regulations are hampered because the employees are often minorities and immigrants who, unlike other high-risk workers such as doctors and hospital staff, labor out of sight of consumers.
    https://www.bloombergquint.com/polit...g-meat-workers

  11. #60
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    Default Re: Smithfield is closing its pork processing & Tyson Food COVID-19 outbreak concern

    I hear the claims form the non-believers. The constant claim that the numbers are higher then they really are, yet they offer no proof. This administration has done a fine job with their propaganda.
    This story highlights the under reporting of cases in Iowa and particularly at a meat packing plant. After being caught, they claim it was a record keeping issue.
    Sure it was.

    Iowa Beef Plant Fined Just $957 After 300 Workers Tested Positive for Virus
    Iowa regulators have issued their first citation to a meatpacking plant with a large coronavirus outbreak that sickened its workforce — a $957 fine for a minor record-keeping violation.
    The outbreak at the Iowa Premium Beef Plant in Tama in April resulted in 338 of the plant's 850 workers testing positive for the virus, 80 more than the state previously acknowledged, according to inspection records released Thursday.
    The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on June 1 that it had launched inspections at the Tama plant and four other meatpacking plants where thousands of workers had tested positive.
    Records show that the inspections did not lead to any citations at the other four plants, where at least nine workers have died after contracting the COVID-19 virus. Those included Tyson Foods plants in Waterloo, Columbus Junction and Perry and the JBS plant in Marshalltown.
    The beef plant suspended production for two weeks in April after scores of workers became ill. A two-day mass testing conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Health found that 338 workers were infected by then, the records show.
    The health department’s deputy director, Sarah Reisetter, nonetheless announced at a news conference May 5 that only 258 workers had tested positive. The department has blamed record-keeping problems for erroneously announcing artificially low numbers of positive tests at another meatpacking plant the same day.
    https://www.mbtmag.com/home/news/211...tive-for-virus

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