Hormel Foods has announced that it will be paying out more bonuses for its full and part-time workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Austin-based food giant, which counts Jennie-O turkey among its subsidiaries, has confirmed a further $7 million in bonuses will be paid out to its plant workers "who are stepping up to ensure the company's trusted brands and products are available during the ... pandemic."
That will work out to $500 for full-time workers and $150 for part-time workers, which will be paid in July, in addition to the $300 for full-time and $150 for part-time workers already paid out in April.
It comes amid increasing focus on the outbreak of the coronavirus at meat processing plants across the U.S. An outbreak has already shut down the JBS USA plant in Worthington and temporarily the Comfrey Farm Prime Pork plant in Windom.
An outbreak has been confirmed at the Jennie-O plant in Willmar, but Hormel has said it is staying open for now.
In announcing the bonuses, Hormel said it has made it a "number one priority" to protect workers who can't work from home, including by providing PPE, temperature taking, and social distancing in plants.
"We do this all with a sense of responsibility and pride as we maintain the constant supply of safe, high-quality food which has provided a sense of security and comfort to millions of Americans," said Hormel CEO Jim Snee.
"What we are facing today would have been far worse if grocery store shelves were empty.
"As we recognize heroes during this time, we pay tribute to our health care workers and first responders, but we shouldn't forget the millions of people who are showing up and working hard to keep our food supply chain running."
Analysis by media outlets this week found that more than 150 of the country's largest meat processing plants are operating in counties with some of the highest rate of coronavirus infection.