WASHINGTON — JBS and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced on April 19 that the two sides agreed to increased pay and the availability of enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) for plant workers. The PPE included masks, gloves and face shields.
The agreement said that starting on April 20 and lasting through May 30, wages for workers increased by $4 per hour in addition to a previously announced $600 bonus. Workers included in this deal are at plants in Arizona, Colorado, IIIinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
“In the face of this pandemic, the safety of JBS workers and all our meatpacking members is paramount,” said Marc Perrone, president of UFCW International. “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.”
JBS will also be installing plexiglass shields in areas of plants where social distancing is not possible. The meat processor plans to expand cafeterias and breakrooms in JBS plants so workers can practice social distancing.
“We hope JBS’s leadership sends a message to all other companies – union and non-union,” Perrone said. “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.”