Nearly 59,000 Meatpacking Workers Caught COVID, While 269 Died: Report

News Picture: Nearly 59,000 Meatpacking Workers Caught COVID, While 269 Died: Report

THURSDAY, Oct. 28, 2021 (HealthDay Information)

The variety of U.S. meatpacking employees who had been contaminated through the COVID-19 pandemic is sort of thrice increased than beforehand thought, a U.S. Home report reveals.

It mentioned at the very least 59,000 employees caught the illness and 269 died because the pandemic raged by the trade final 12 months, and added that corporations might have completed extra to guard their staff, the Related Press reported. As a result of employees stand shoulder-to-shoulder in manufacturing strains, the meatpacking trade was one of many early epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the top of the outbreaks within the spring of 2020, U.S. meatpacking manufacturing fell to about 60% of regular as a number of main vegetation had been pressured to shut for deep cleansing and security upgrades, or operated at slower speeds due to employee shortages.

Beforehand, the United Meals and Industrial Staff Union mentioned 22,400 meatpacking employees had been contaminated or uncovered.

The brand new estimates are based mostly on inner paperwork from 5 of the nation’s largest meatpacking corporations: JBS, Tyson Meals, Smithfield Meals, Cargill and Nationwide Beef.

The precise variety of affected employees could possibly be increased than the figures from the U.S. Home Choose Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Disaster as a result of coronavirus circumstances confirmed by outdoors testing or self-reported by staff weren’t typically included within the corporations’ information, the AP reported.

“As a substitute of addressing the clear indications that employees had been contracting the coronavirus at alarming charges on account of situations in meatpacking services, meatpacking corporations prioritized earnings and manufacturing over employee security, persevering with to make use of practices that led to crowded services by which the virus unfold simply,” in accordance with the Home report.

“A few of these corporations are treating the employees within the vegetation not a lot better than the animals that undergo them,” and the Occupational Security and Well being Administration must do extra to guard meatpacking employees, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin mentioned, the AP reported.

The trade’s response to the pandemic was defended by the North American Meat Institute commerce group.

And Cargill, Tyson, Smithfield and JBS issued statements saying they strove to fulfill federal well being and security requirements and took additional steps to guard their staff, together with widespread testing and urging staff to get vaccinated, the AP reported.

Extra info

Go to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention for extra on COVID-19.

SOURCE: Related Press

Robert Preidt


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