Over 14,000 members of UFCW Local 700 are hard at work on the front lines of this crisis – in grocery stores and food processing plants across Indiana. These workers are putting their lives on the line every day to keep our country fed during this deadly outbreak and they must be protected. Our members are essential to ensuring that every American continues to have access to the food they need to feed their families, and they must be provided with essential protections.
The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting an unprecedented challenge for our nation’s food supply and every worker across the food processing and meatpacking industries. UFCW represents over 250,000 members who work at meatpacking and poultry plants across the country, including thousands in Indiana. We are America’s largest meatpacking and food processing union.
Federal and state elected leaders must mandate and enforce clear guidelines to ensure that every employer lives up to the high safety standards these workers deserve and the American people expect. We want workers to have the protections they need to be safe on the job and we are asking that the federal and state governments prioritize the safety of these workers, which is how we keep plants open and protect our food supply.
“Worker safety must come first, and there must be strong and enforceable rules to protect them on the job,” said UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning. “We are committed to working with the company on continuous improvements to ensure that our members are as safe as possible. We’re asking all our leaders – federal, state, corporate, and union – to work together and help keep these plants open by protecting these workers.”
Together, UFCW Local 700 and Tyson have previously implemented additional safety measures including social distancing and restricted access; temperature checks; modified time off policies; facial coverings; additional sanitation procedures; and improved worker communication.