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Why Are Meat Processing Plants Reopening After Major COVID-19 Outbreaks?

Jeremy Fugleberg / Forum News Service
The Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has now been linked to more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19.

On this edition of Your Call, we're getting an update on the COVID crisis in meatpacking plants. At least 31 meat processing plants owned by Smithfield, JBS and Tyson Foods have had coronavirus outbreaks.

According to the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, over 6,500 workers have tested positive or been quarantined. At least 22 have died. Why are frontline workers still unprotected?


Dr. Angela Stuesse, cultural anthropologist and professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, author of Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South

Veronica Guevara, daughter of a meat processing plant worker who recently tested positive for COVID-19

Web Resources:

The Guardian, Oliver Laughland and Amanda Holpuch: 'We're modern slaves': How meat plant workers became the new frontline in Covid-19 war

The Washington Post, Taylor Telford and Kimberly Kindy: As they rushed to maintain U.S. meat supply, big processors saw plants become covid-19 hot spots, worker illnesses spike

Bloomberg, Jennifer Jacobs: Trump Orders Meat Plants to Stay Open in Move Unions Slam