Smithfield Foods announced late last week it’s closing plants in Wisconsin and Missouri because of the coronavirus pandemic. The plant in Wisconsin will be closed for two weeks while the Missouri facility is closed indefinitely. According to the associated Press report the Missouri plant gets its raw materials from the plant in Sioux Falls, SD, which is also closed.
Smithfield recently reported more than 500 infections in plant workers, as well as another 126 infections in people connected to them. A small number of workers in both Wisconsin and Missouri have tested positive for coronavirus.
Workers in the Missouri plant told the AP that between six and nine employees, including managers, contracted coronavirus. Union workers were told the Missouri plant will be back in operation by April 30. Missouri employees will still get their full 40-hour pay under their collective bargaining agreement. Union officials in Wisconsin had raised concerns that the company wasn’t doing enough to protect them from the COVID-19 outbreak, sending a letter to the company’s Human Resources Department.
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