In a rare stop of production, JBS plant workers honor long-time employee |

In a rare stop of production, JBS plant workers honor long-time employee

Staff report | Photos courtesy of jbs usa
(Photo courtesy of JBS USA)

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JBS and Temple Grandin Sign Animal Welfare Agreement

According to a recent article, JBS and Temple Grandin of Colorado State University are expected to sign a technical cooperation agreement at the Beef Sumit Brasil event in the city of Riberão Preto.

“Under the agreement, Grandin will seek to evaluate and improve the company’s animal welfare and handling practices in Brazil. This agreement is a continuation of one established in the United States, where both parties already have a long-term collaboration. The new collaboration will validate animal welfare practices in Brazil-based JBS plants and feedlots. Besides improving their plant operations, JBS is working together with producers to bring good animal welfare practices even to the farm level.”

At a facility that processes as many as 5,400 head of cattle daily, halts in operations aren’t commonplace in functions at the JBS USA meat-packing plant in Greeley.

However, there was an exception earlier this month.

Aurelio Espino-Hernandez worked at the Greeley beef plant for more than 26 years, before his death at a family member’s home on April 27.

He was 49.

At 10 a.m. on May 2, a mass of Christian burial at St. Peter’s Catholic Church took place.

And at exactly the same time, the JBS Greeley beef management team gathered around a clean, white cutting block on the loin table that was once occupied by Espino-Hernandez. David Espinoza — his front-line supervisor — ceremoniously placed Espino-Hernandez’s clean white uniform, hard hat and ID card on the cutting block.

The processing manager, Hicham Timejardine, hit the e-stop button, halting operations at exactly 10 a.m., sounding an alarm that signified a moment of silence for Espino-Hernandez, as the entire processing floor bowed their heads in respect for their friend.

For almost a full week, the cutting block on the loin table remained untouched, out of respect for Espino-Hernandez.

“I had never, ever seen that happen before,” said Linda Sughroue, a 30-year-employee at the JBS plant. “It was an amazing, emotional thing to see.”

His family, too, was overwhlemed by JBS honoring Espino-Hernandez — a father of five, and grandfather of nine.

“It really meant a lot to us,” said his wife, Laura, who added that the cause of his death is still being looked into. He had always been a healthy person, she explained, but went to sleep one night at his brother’s house and didn’t wake up. “What JBS did really moved us.

“And he was deserving. He gave a lot to JBS.”

Espino-Hernandez was born on Nov. 13, 1964, in La Joya, Poanas, Durango, Mexico.

As was noted in a statement from JBS, “he was a soft-spoken, dedicated, hard-working man who was respected by all the employees at the plant for his technical meat-cutting skills and friendly personality.

“Aurelio will be missed by his family, co-workers and friends. He will also be missed by JBS.”

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