JBS, Pilgrim’s Pride earmark $200M for COVID relief

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The meat processing plant operated by JBS USA stands at 800 N eighth Ave. in Greeley Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (Alex McIntyre/amcintyre@greeleytribune.com)

GREELEY — JBS USA and sister firm Pilgrim’s Pleasure Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) say they may donate $200 million to numerous coronavirus reduction efforts within the cities the place they function meatpacking places, however it’s not clear how a lot of that may go towards employee security.

In an announcement Wednesday, the 2 firms stated no less than $50 million of these funds will probably be donated to cities which have meat-packing amenities for starvation reduction and broader group improvement efforts.

“We’re not excellent and this has not been a simple time for any of us, however we’re working tirelessly to maintain our crew members secure and supply meals for the nation throughout this pandemic,” JBS USA CEO Andre Noguiera stated. “We’re all on this struggle collectively.”

The $200 million is on high of $100 million that JBS and Pilgrim’s Pleasure have stated they already spent in worker-safety expenditures and $50 million in bonuses to facility employees. Any employees who’re at specific danger to the consequences of COVID-19 are staying at dwelling with full pay and advantages, the businesses stated, which quantities to about 10% of its worker depend.

Nevertheless, it’s not clear how precisely JBS and Pilgrim’s Pleasure will use the funds or how a lot of will probably be seen in Greeley, the place JBS maintains a big beef-production operation. JBS and Pilgrim’s Pleasure function greater than 50 places throughout the U.S.

Nor might these funds placate union staff who’ve derided what they are saying is working situations rife for the unfold of covid-19 virus by the Greeley plant’s 3,000 employees and led to its momentary shutdown in mid-April.

JBS didn’t reply to requests for added remark Thursday.

United Meals and Business Employees Native 7, the union at JBS’ places in Greeley, has stated seven of its members have died from coronavirus and 321 staff have examined constructive as of Thursday.

In an emailed assertion, UFCW Native 7 President Kim Cordova stated she isn’t conscious of how JBS and Pilgrim’s Pleasure intend to spend the cash. The union is constant to induce the businesses to spend more cash on protecting gear, paid sick go away and ongoing testing.

“The actual fact is, the corporate might have spent quite a bit much less cash a lot earlier to comprise the unfold and cut back the severity of the outbreak at Greeley,” she stated.

A U.S. Facilities for Illness Management research suggests that just about 5,000 American meatpacking employees have been contaminated and 20 have died as a result of the vegetation lack social distancing for lengthy shifts and preserve frigid temperatures wherein viruses and different communicable ailments thrive. President Donald Trump used the Protection Manufacturing Act in latest weeks to require meatpacking vegetation to remain open as a matter of nationwide safety.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC



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