Publish date:

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

ambulance

4-year-old girl killed by falling branch in Mankato is identified

She is from South Dakota, and was attending the Mahkato Annual Traditional Powwow.

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 6.35.24 AM

No. 1 Lakeville South dominates No. 2 Eden Prairie

The Cougars ran away with the Class 6A showdown.

Lake Nokomis

Boy hospitalized after being rescued from Lake Nokomis has died

He was one of two children pulled from the Minneapolis lake.

39075 Shoreline Hwy, Westport, California - October 2017

Minneapolis man found dead at bottom of California cliff, half-brother arrested

The homicide happened near a beach park and campground for RVs located at the ocean.

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville, Savage

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.

Concert

Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

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

It's the home of the shuttered JBS USA pork plant, where there has been a major COVID-19 outbreak.

Screen Shot 2020-09-08 at 9.21.26 AM

Workers at Stilheart, Lawless distilleries will unionize

Workers at the two businesses are the latest Twin Cities hospitality workers to unionize.

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.