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JBS raising wages for workers and enhancing safety measures

Union representing meatpacking workers announced agreement with JBS.

Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers all across the country, announced an agreement with JBS — the leading processor of beef and pork in the United States — to increase wages for workers by $4 per hour and further strengthen safety measures for employees in these plants, including 2,000 workers in Marshalltown, Iowa.

The agreement between the UFCW and JBS is the union’s latest action to protect workers and strengthen our nation’s food supply during the coronavirus pandemic. This follows UFCW’s recent announcement of increased pay and protections for workers across these industries.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“In the face of this pandemic, the safety of JBS workers and all our meatpacking members is paramount. The UFCW has worked throughout this national health crisis to ensure that our union members are protected and millions of Americans continue to have access to the food they need.

“We applaud JBS and our UFCW Locals for coming to an agreement that recognizes the hard work and sacrifices of these brave men and women by giving them an additional $4 an hour and, more importantly, access to the personal protection equipment like masks, gloves, and face shields that they need to do their jobs safely.

READ MORE: Cattle industry projected to lose $13.6 billion in wake of coronavirus

“We hope JBS’s leadership sends a message to all other companies – union and non-union. Now, more than ever, it is critical that not only is our food supply protected, but that food processing and meatpacking workers are protected as they perform such an essential role during this health crisis.” 

Background:

As part of this new agreement, JBS announced the following:

  • Beginning April 20 and lasting through May 30, JBS employees will receive an additional $4 an hour in pay increases. This will be in addition to the previously announced $600 bonus. 
  • JBS employees will have access to enhanced personal protection equipment like masks, gloves, and face shields. 
  • JBS will install plexiglass shields in areas of plants where social distancing is not possible.  
  • Expanded cafeterias and breakrooms in JBS plants will allow workers to better practice social distancing. 
  •  Enhanced cleaning in common areas and plants will further strengthen safety measures. 
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