Essential workers at meatpacking plants are working in hazardous conditions to provide food for the nation, and maintain profit for JBS, Tyson and Smithfield. They are heroes. As we thank them for their service, we need to pay them fairly and keep them safe.

Although some plants have been closed and some safety measures taken, employees are still at risk. These plants should be closed for a two-week period to be cleaned, and to halt the spreading of the disease caused by working in close proximity. If meatpacking plants are unwilling to protect their employees, then Nebraska’s political leaders must step in and protect our communities.

All employees should also receive hazard pay while the state maintains a recommendation to stay at home. Further, individuals who are sick should not face the prospect of losing their jobs or paychecks at this critical time. Special paid time off for illness and temporary plant closure is necessary to alleviate workers’ fears and enable them to act safely. Paid leave will support employees while protecting the medical system from being overwhelmed and our food supply from shortages in the long run. As long as social distancing is advised by the CDC, the lines should be slowed so that individuals can maintain safe distance from each other.

ope体育Employees face an impossible decision between going to work in unsafe conditions and losing their livelihood. Companies must establish confidential methods for reporting unsafe conditions. Few would be willing to accept these working conditions if they were not living in fear of retaliation. Meatpacking plants need to provide the same humane conditions that any reasonable person would want for their loved ones.

Susan McDowall

2428 Pioneer Blvd.

Load comments