Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tyson Foods after at least five meatpackers died and more than 1,000 others were infected with coronavirus at the company’s plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The lawsuit alleges that employees were ordered to report to work even if they were sick. Supervisors allegedly bet money on how many workers would be infected.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone demanded that action be taken: “These stunning safety failures make clear that the Trump administration and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds care more about industry profits than protecting America’s front-line workers. Protecting our country’s meatpacking workers is essential to keeping our food supply secure. We are continuing to call on elected leaders to implement an enforceable national safety standard, increased access to PPE and COVID-19 testing, and rigorous proactive inspections. Without immediate action, deadly outbreaks like this will quickly spread across the Midwest and cause COVID-19 cases to spike even higher. Our country’s meatpacking workers, and the millions of American they serve, deserve and expect better from those sworn to protect us.”