JBS, Smithfield respond to worker safety probe

We are now hearing from the nation’s largest meatpackers after Congress said it will investigate their early response to the pandemic.

Tens of thousands of employees caught the virus early on. Dozens of them died. Congress says that OSHA failed to enforce workers’ safety, resulting in preventable infections and deaths.

The subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis also blames meat packers for spreading COVID in their communities.

Smithfield says that there has been misinformation in the media, and it looks forward to setting the record straight.

In a statement, the company said, “We have taken seriously our responsibility to protect the healthy and safety of employees while continuing to provide food for our nation. We have met or exceeded the prevailing federal, state, and local health and safety guidance, including with personal protective equipment.”

JBS also responded, saying in addition to the hundreds of safety measures it has implemented, “we have voluntarily removed vulnerable population groups with full pay and benefits, covered 100 percent of all COVID-19 related health expenses for our team members and family members enrolled in our health plan, and offered a $100 dollar incentive bonus for any U.S. team member willing to get vaccinated.”

So far, we have not heard from Tyson.


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