Meatpacking and processing plants have been ravaged by COVID-19 cases, with more than 57,000 meatpacking workers and more than 17,000 food processing workers having contracted the virus.
In mid-April 2020, meatpacking plants temporarily closed to prevent further spread of the disease. However, these closures did little to curb the rise in cases in rural counties.
While workers battled COVID-19, some plants were granted waivers to increase the speed of their processing lines. The Trump administration issued waivers that increased line speeds to 175 birds processed PER MINUTE. These faster line speeds accelerated the spread of COVID-19. That’s why we need The Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act. Even before COVID-19, the meat processing industry was one of the most dangerous in the nation. Pre-pandemic, meat processing plants saw an average of two amputations per week.
Increasing processing line speeds places profits above the health and safety of plant workers. The Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act will rescind these line speed waivers and return processing line speeds to the pre-pandemic level.
Please contact your Member of Congress today to support this legislation!