FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 3, 2020
Contact: Jessica Hayssen,
UFCW Local 663: JBS Worthington Plant Will Reopen This Week
WORTHINGTON, MN – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663,Minnesota’s largest meatpacking union, released a statement in response to news that JBS’s Worthington plant will reopen Wednesday, May 6. The reopening follows President Trump taking executive action to mandate that meatpacking and poultry plants remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UFCW Local 663 President Matt Utecht released the following statement:
“The best way to protect our food supply is to protect Minnesota’s meatpacking workers by having clear safety standards at JBS. While JBS was shut down, our union has been hard at work ensuring that reopening the plant involves a commitment to enhanced safety guidelines for a safe reopening of the Worthington plant. Workers will return to enforced social distancing in the plant and common areas, frequent and thorough disinfecting, and daily communication so they are kept updated.
“We will also continue to collaborate with the company, and most importantly, the workers, who are the heart and soul of our union, to make sure these guidelines are being followed and that workers feel safe.”
To read the new guidelines for JBS Worthington, visit here.
UFCW Local 663 Member and JBS employee Yolanda Martinez said:
“The work we do helps supply food to millions of people. It was essential before the pandemic and it is especially essential now. But in order for us to go back to work, we need to feel safe doing our jobs. The new guidelines are a step in the right direction and I am going to do my part to make sure worker safety is put first.”
UFCW Local 663 represents more than 13,200 hard-working retail, meat packing and processing, food preparation and manufacturing, healthcare, and other workers in Minnesota and Iowa. We strive to improve the lives of our members and of all working families by fighting for economic, political, and social justice in our workplaces and communities. Local 663 is part of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.