LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union along with pork and beef processing giant JBS have agreed to increase pay for workers and strengthen safety measures at its Louisville plant amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Workers at the plant in Butchertown will see an increase of $4 more on the hour beginning April 20 through May 30. This is in addition to the $600 bonus officials previously announced.
The UFCW represents 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers across the country.
“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,” Marc Perrone, UFCW International president, said in a statement. “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.
Some of the changes include installing plexiglass shields in areas of the plant where social distancing isn’t possible. There will be more cleaning in common areas and the plant will help strengthen those safety measures.
Perrone says he hopes the leadership JBS has shown sends a message to union and non-union companies that our food supply is protected as well as those who perform in essential roles during the health crisis.
The Butchertown JBS plant employs 1,200 workers.
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