Wisconsin Senator calls out JBS, Smithfield, Tyson over COVID-19 precautions
A Wisconsin U.S. Senator wants the meatpacking industry to immediately improve working conditions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin tells Brownfield she has written to the CEO’s of JBS, Smithfield Foods, and Tyson Foods. “Because they’ve become coronavirus hotspots, not only risking the health and lives of their employees, but their employee’s families and the communities in which these plants reside and these workers reside. It’s unacceptable.”
Baldwin says there are numerous reports about workers who have not been given adequate protective gear, can work shoulder to shoulder with each other and are encouraged to come into work even while sick. “Meatpacking plants are considered to be essential businesses, but you can’t ask a worker to risk their lives if you don’t have equipment and protocols to protect them.”
Baldwin has asked the meatpackers to make a commitment to not reopen plants until there is a plan in place and personal protective equipment for workers is in-hand.
Baldwin has introduced the Every Worker Protection Act, which she says would require OSHA to issue clear emergency temporary standards to send clearer signals to employers and employees during the pandemic.
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) discusses her letter to meatpacking plants about worker protections.