Meatpacking Industry Pushes for Worker Vaccinations
Big meatpacking companies like Tyson and JBS are working to get their employees vaccination quickly to avoid more coronavirus cases in meatpacking facilities.
- By Nikki Johnson-Bolden
- Jan 21, 2021
As COVID-19 cases rise within the meatpacking industry, top meatpacking companies and unions are advocating for meatpacking workers to be a priority vaccination group, according to Bloomberg Government.
Various meatpacking facilities have been cited by OSHA for COVID-19 violations. The Food Environment Reporting Network reports 53,620 positive coronavirus cases and 269 deaths among meatpacking employees as of Jan. 15.
Companies such as Tyson Food, JBS and Cargill Inc. are attempting to get workers vaccinated. Tyson has partnered with Matrix Medical Network, a clinical services company, as part of the company’s effort to vaccinate its employees. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union also wrote a letter on Dec. 23 asking governors in each state to give meatpacking workers “very high priority” for the coronavirus vaccine.
Another common sentiment in the meatpacking industry is the desire for President Biden to mandate an emergency temporary standard that enforces social distancing in meatpacking facilities and supplies ventilators to workers.
Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.