UFCW, JBS reach agreement
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union announced Sunday it had reached agreement with JBS USA to increase wages for workers by $4 per hour and further strengthen safety measures in JBS plants.
The UFCW represents more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers across the country and JBS is a leading processor of beef and pork in the United States.
UFCW President Mark Parrone said, “We hope JBS’s leadership sends a message to all other companies — union and non-union. Now, more than ever, it is critical that not only is our food supply protected, but that food processing and meatpacking workers are protected as they perform such an essential role during this health crisis.”
The union said, “As part of this new agreement, JBS announced the following for workers at its plants in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin:
“Beginning April 20 and lasting through May 30, JBS employees will receive an additional $4 an hour in pay increases. This will be in addition to the previously announced $600 bonus.
“JBS employees will have access to enhanced personal protection equipment like masks, gloves and face shields.
“JBS will be installing plexiglass shields in areas of plants where social distancing is not possible.
“Expanded cafeterias and breakrooms in JBS plants will allow workers to better practice social distancing.
“Enhanced cleaning in common areas and plants will further strengthen safety measures.”
Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and 80 of his colleagues last week introduced the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.