The Meatpacking Employees COVID-19 Protection Act (LB 241) passed out of committee and is on the way to floor debate. This is a big step in the legislative process thanks to the actions of workers, families, and communities across the state!
But family members and neighbors who work in meatpacking still need your action.
Nebraskans working in meat and poultry plants across the state continue to report very recent and widespread examples of dangerous COVID conditions. Meatpacking plants are already dangerous workplace environments, but they are also the epicenter of COVID-19 hotspots because of the cold, dry, uncirculated air and people working elbow to elbow on the line. The meatpacking plants refused to implement precautions to protect Nebraskans working there and even encouraged people to come to work sick. Basic COVID-19 protections for meatpacking workers are past due.
“Managers tell us after receiving a positive COVID-19 case that we can just keep working and should keep working if we want to keep our job.” – Nebraska Meatpacking Worker
“We’ve lost 6 people. [One] gentleman…had COVID symptoms, they made him come to work and tested him….they have the quick 15 min test – which is completely unreliable. He tested negative. They made him go to work and 2 days later he died of COVID. That was right before Thanksgiving.” – Nebraska Meatpacking Worker
The pandemic is not over. COVID-19 and new variants continue to be a danger. As one worker put it, “The COVID problem is now.” Even as vaccine rollout proceeds, public health experts caution we will need continued protections for some time.
Every person deserves to come home from work safe and healthy. Nebraskans care about our neighbors, friends, and families working essential jobs to keep food on the table. Now it’s time to show that appreciation by supporting LB 241 to keep Nebraskans working in meatpacking plants safe and healthy.
Take Action to Protect Nebraska’s Essential Meatpacking Workers! Email your senator today!