Governor says workers choice whether to return
There are reports across the country of meat plant workers choosing not to go back under President Trump’s order to keep those plants open. Some plants have reopened while others are slowing down as COVID-19 cases among workers grow.
More than 400 of 2,300 Triumph Foods workers tested in northwest Missouri are positive for the virus but show no symptoms. On Tuesday, the state health department director said workers need to stay home 10 days after testing positive.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, when asked at his Tuesday media briefing about workers who might not want to return to the plant, said if they don’t want to go back, they don’t have to.
“There’s other people out there probably, I’m sure, needing to hire people, too,” says Parson. “So, it’s a question between individuals and businesses how they approach that. But I don’t think you’re going to be able to say, ‘I just don’t feel comfortable going back to work’ and you’re going to be able to just stay at home.”
Missouri is doing more mass testing at other meat processing plants next week, including the Smithfield pork plant Milan in northern Missouri.
A judge has thrown out a lawsuit against that plant filed by an advocacy group and anonymous worker – saying the company has taken significant steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.