Skip to main content

Union representing workers at JBS pork plant in Worthington calls for renewed hazard pay

United Food and Commercial Workers Local Local 663 penned a public letter to JBS Thursday.
JBS Pork

A union representing meatpacking workers in Minnesota is asking JBS Foods to reinstate hazard pay for employees at its Worthington pork plant.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 wrote a public letter to JBS Thursday. In it, the union asks the company for hazard pay of $4 or more per hour, citing rising cases of the Delta COVID-19 variant in the state and returning mask mandates, including at the plant.

The letter also calls on JBS to support using money from a $250 million fund from the ​​federal American Rescue Plan set aside by the state Legislature to go toward frontline worker payouts.

UFCW Local 663 represents more than 13,000 retail, meatpacking, food preparation, healthcare and other workers in Minnesota and Iowa. JBS’s plant in Worthington employs more than 2,000 workers.

“Over the last year and a half we have heard repeatedly from members about the stress and physical harm caused by the coronavirus. Unacceptably large numbers of members were infected at work and brought it home to their spouses, children, and community – many who also fell sick,” Local 663 President Matt Utecht said in the letter.

“Now as we hear about members who are testing positive with the Delta variant we are even more adamant that Employers should provide hazard pay.”

Nationwide, UFCW reported a total of 132 meatpacking worker deaths among its members due to COVID-19, along with 22,400 workers infected or exposed to the virus.

In April of last year, JBS shut down its Worthington plant due to a major COVID-19 outbreak. It reopened in early May. 

Next Up

fire truck

Explosion reported near Hastings; man airlifted to hospital

Authorities say the victim has serious injuries.

Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 2.30.07 PM

School faces uncertain future after land sold to Catholic nonprofit

The school near Marine on St. Croix sits on land that's just been sold.

BikeCarSceneMpls

Boy suffers 'life-threatening' injuries in car-bike collision in Minneapolis

Police said the driver is cooperating with the investigation.

North Memorial Health Hospital

Man dies from gunshot wounds after Minneapolis shooting

The death marked the 69th homicide of the year in the city.

image

Gallery: Island cabin is one of northernmost homes for sale in MN

Want to buy one of the northernmost homes on the market in Minnesota?

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

Charges: Houston men robbed Edina bank of $110,000

A third suspect has not yet been identified.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys coming to Minnesota for 2023 tour

The rock band hasn't gone on tour in the United States since 2019.

Related

JBS Pork

JBS pork plant in Worthington set to partially re-open this week

The plant has been shut down since a major coronavirus outbreak.

JBS Pork

Coronavirus: Cases at Worthington pork plant continue to rise

Nobles County is becoming one of the Minnesota's major hotspots.

JBS Pork

Coronavirus outbreak at MN meat plant; spread possible from Smithfield Foods

The Worthington area has at least 30 cases, according to health officials.

JBS Pork

Minnesota GOP lawmakers urge President Trump to reopen pork plants

The State lawmakers sent a letter to President Donald Trump Monday.

JBS Pork

JBS USA announces closure of coronavirus-hit Worthington plant

The pork processing plant has seen a growing number of cases.

Governor Tim Walz

Amid more reported outbreaks at MN meat plants, Walz heads to Worthington

Walz is visiting the home of the shuttered JBS USA pork plant, where there has been a major COVID-19 outbreak.

JBS Pork

MN officials uneasy as president prepares order to keep meat plants open

The president is expected to issue an executive order requiring meat processing plants to stay open.

Screen Shot 2022-06-04 at 8.04.52 AM

Workers at Peace Coffee vote 'overwhelmingly' to unionize

The 17 workers will join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663.