HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » "The Workers Are Being Sa...

Fri May 1, 2020, 05:26 PM

"The Workers Are Being Sacrificed"...Meatpacker JBS Kept People on Crowded Factory Floors

“The Workers Are Being Sacrificed”: As Cases Mounted, Meatpacker JBS Kept People on Crowded Factory Floors
With coronavirus outbreaks at two-thirds of the company’s beef processing plants, employees are asking, “Why didn’t they help protect us?”
Esther Honig and Ted Genoways3 hours ago


On her phone, Crystal Rodriguez keeps a photo of her father hooked up to a ventilator. Nurses at the hospital sent her the image after he’d spent close to a month in the intensive care unit at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado, battling severe complications from COVID-19. At 58, he was unable to speak or visit with family. Rodriguez is convinced that her father was exposed to the coronavirus at work on the meatpacking line at JBS, a Brazilian-owned multinational that brings in $50 billion annually as the world’s largest meat processor. “They have so much money and so much knowledge of everything,” Rodriguez says. “Why didn’t they help protect us?”

A 33-year-old single mother of four, Rodriguez grew up in Greeley, Colorado, home to JBS’s American headquarters and a massive plant that employs 6,000 workers. Rodriguez has worked there, on and off, alongside her father since she was 18. In the photo on her company ID, she has thick black hair and a wide smile, but her happy expression belies the reality at work. She says JBS is like a bad ex-boyfriend who you keep trying to leave, “but you still go back for some reason.”

snip//

By mid-March, Rodriguez says she started noticing co-workers missing from the line. The parking lot seemed emptier than usual. According to data from the county health department, COVID-19 had already begun spreading among workers at the plant. Yet even as Colorado schools were ordered to close and the country declared a national emergency, the production line at JBS continued to run as usual.

On March 20, Rodriguez showed up for her shift at 5:45 a.m. and later that day shared lunch with her dad. As she left that afternoon, her mom called to say her dad had come home sick and gone to urgent care with a high temperature. Doctors said his symptoms were consistent with COVID-19 and advised him and the rest of the family to self-quarantine. Rodriguez says she called her supervisor to report that she’d likely been exposed. “They said, ‘But you’re not symptomatic, so you should come to work.’” If she wanted to take two weeks off to quarantine, Rodriguez says, she was told she would lose her job and would have to reapply after 90 days. “No one is forced to come to work and no one is punished for being absent for health reasons,” a JBS spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “If anyone experienced something different, that is troubling and not consistent with our culture or our policies.”

more...

https://www.motherjones.com/food/2020/05/meatpacking-coronavirus-workers-factory-jbs-tyson-smithfield-covid-crisis-sacrifice-outbreaks-beef/

3 replies, 574 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply "The Workers Are Being Sacrificed"...Meatpacker JBS Kept People on Crowded Factory Floors (Original post)
babylonsister May 2020 OP
gratuitous May 2020 #1
ProfessorGAC May 2020 #3
alwaysinasnit May 2020 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 05:36 PM

1. "No one is forced to come to work"

We totally leave the choice up to the worker: If you're not on that processing line at 5:45 sharp, you lose your job. Totally the worker's choice, it's not like JBS sent some goons over to the worker's home to forcibly transport her to the plant. Freedom!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to gratuitous (Reply #1)

Fri May 1, 2020, 05:40 PM

3. Oh, There's A Choice

Come to work here or go broke!
Plant management used some cruel leverage! Pretty terrible!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 05:40 PM

2. This is why Moscow Mitch wants any future stimulus bill to eliminate corporate liability for failure

to protect workers and the public against covid-19.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread