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Honored Social Butterfly

Return to 'The Jungle' Days Because of Trump's Meatpacking Order

Trump's COVID-19 meatpacking order returns us to 'The Jungle' days just so you can eat bacon
But allowing employees to treat their workers with even more apathy doesn't protect the food supply. It actually endangers it even more.
 

A Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, on April 17, 2013.Charlie Neibergall / AP file

 
May 4, 2020, 10:45 AM CDT
By Samantha Gillison

 

You would have to go back over a century — to 1906 — when a dour investigative journalist named Upton Sinclair published "The Jungle" to find the last time the American public has been as freaked out by what goes on in slaughterhouses as they are right now.

Sinclair's vivid exposé of the foul conditions then rampant in Chicago's meatpacking industry was so shocking that it led to the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, one of the first laws to protect Americans from harmful food.

 

The problem with ensuring that adequate numbers of pork chops and chuck roasts make it to Americans' dinner tables, it turns out, is that Big Agriculture's slaughterhouses are virtual Club Meds for SARS-CoV-2, offering the virus the leisure and freedom to attack — unimpeded — a smorgasbord of workers' ACE-2 receptors. And attack and infect it has: With (so far) more than 6,500 line workers infected with the illness, at least 30 dead and infection rates in the surrounding communities soaring, at least 22 meatpacking plants have already been shut down.

 
Meat plants become COVID-19 hotspots after poor handling of outbreaksAPRIL 27, 202004:54
 

But no one really paid attention to the brutal working conditions until it turned out that they also make the people who work there particularly susceptible to being infected with COVID-19.

 

It wasn't an isolated case of lack of care. Case Farms, a North Carolina poultry processor, was fined $860,000 by OSHA in 2015 for, among other things, repeatedly exposing its workers to electrocution and amputation hazards while providing neither personal protection nor emergency eyewash stations. And in 2018, OSHA records revealed that, for the previous two years, U.S. workers at meat processing plants had suffered an average of two amputations a week (which included the loss of an eye) after suffering severe injuries on the line.

We are starting to witness the rippling effects of meatpacking plant closures — which include farmers facing "de-populating" mass amounts of healthy, ready-for-market cattle, chickens and pigs, all while thousands of Americans wait in line at food banks.

The solution — obviously — is to order everyone back to work and protect the meatpackers, like Tyson Foods, from legal liability for getting any of their workers sick. Enter the Trump administration and its nimble executive order last week declaring processing plants critical infrastructure. Helpfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA have issued guidelines to protect meat and poultry workers; less helpfully, the Trump administration has made the guidelines completely voluntary.

But guidelines and executive orders won't get workers who are sick, dead or justifiably terrified of catching COVID-19 to show up on the line.

 

MORE AT LINK:

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-covid-19-meatpacking-order-returns-us-jungle-days-ncna...

 


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

Thanks Chasky for ANOTHER great example of why we must NEVER elect another gutless draft-dodging preppytwit, especially a psychopathic one like tRump. I really thought jrbush's lying us into two needless wars would be the all-time deadliest Republican stupidity in the new century, but jr's 5,000 dead brave men and women of our Military have been dwarfed by the 65,000 so far and probably well over 200,000 dead innocent Americans by the time we get out of tRumpvid20.

 

He's done NOTHING to increase the supply of the PPE needed to open businesses, but knows he and his enabling GOPers are toast in the election if there's no meat because of his previous disastrous handling of the pandemic, so send in the unprotected workers.

 

Going to be interesting to see if this latest demand from the Toad that the poor sicken and die so the rich get their Chateau Briand will reignite the Union Movement and GOVERNMENT regulation in our pathetic food industry.

Honored Social Butterfly

Olderscout66 wrote:

 

Thanks Chasky for ANOTHER great example of why we must NEVER elect another gutless draft-dodging preppytwit, especially a psychopathic one like tRump. I really thought jrbush's lying us into two needless wars would be the all-time deadliest Republican stupidity in the new century, but jr's 5,000 dead brave men and women of our Military have been dwarfed by the 65,000 so far and probably well over 200,000 dead innocent Americans by the time we get out of tRumpvid20.

 

He's done NOTHING to increase the supply of the PPE needed to open businesses, but knows he and his enabling GOPers are toast in the election if there's no meat because of his previous disastrous handling of the pandemic, so send in the unprotected workers.

 

Going to be interesting to see if this latest demand from the Toad that the poor sicken and die so the rich get their Chateau Briand will reignite the Union Movement and GOVERNMENT regulation in our pathetic food industry.

********************************************************************************************

 

You're right Scout. Trump wants to wipe out regulations keeping our meats safe, he could get millions of people sick and cause thousands more to die, of Covid-19 and other illnesses cause by the meats.

 

 

 


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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Honored Social Butterfly

   Another case of Trump and Follow the Money.      Big Money donors to Campaign Donald take out full page ads complaining that they are losing money ( aka the economy is killing) and if there is one thing that gets donalds attention, it is human death from a pandemic, it is MONEY.   

 

    

Meatpacking facilities are ideal environments for spreading COVID-19. Cramped facilities make social distancing virtually impossible, and the "pace and physical demands of processing work made adherence to face-covering recommendations difficult." A poorly-paid workforce is "incentivized to work while ill as a result of medical leave and disability policies and attendance bonuses that could encourage working while experiencing symptoms." And rampant consolidation means that many slaughterhouses have hundreds or thousands of employees under one roof.  

Of the top 25 coronavirus clusters in the United States, six are slaughterhouses. (Most of the rest are jails and prisons.) A CDC survey released May 1 found that, across the country, there were 4,913 cases of COVID-19 at meat and poultry processing facilities, which have resulted in at least 20 deaths. These figures understate the scope of the problem since four states did not provide any data to the CDC, testing is not comprehensive, and some processing companies are reticent to report illnesses to state authorities. Multiple plants have closed, suggesting a serious outbreak, without disclosing the number of positive cases. 

A tally conducted by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has cataloged "6,300 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities," including at least 30 deaths. 

The danger extends to the broader community. Workers, who are often immigrants, "live in crowded, multigenerational settings and sometimes share transportation to and from work, contributing to increased risk for transmission of COVID-19 outside the facility itself."

In Delaware, there is a significant outbreak of COVID-19 in Sussex County connected to a Mountaire Farm's processing plant. Mountaire is one of the largest producers of chicken in the country. The union representing workers at the Mountaire facility in Selbyville, Delaware, UFCW Local 27, says there has been "upward of 40 cases" at the Mountaire facility. "The situation in Sussex County is a very serious one," Delaware Governor John Carney (D) said.

Late last month, Mountaire confirmed serious COVID-19 outbreaks in two facilities in North Carolina. At one facility in Chatham County, which has 1,580 employees, there are 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Another Mountaire facility in Robeson County has nine confirmed cases. 

In an effort to control the outbreak, Piedmont Health and the North Carolina National Guard offered testing to symptomatic employees and their families at the Mountaire plant in Chatham County. That resulted in another 74 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which contributed a 53% increase in the county. Mountaire has since "stopped publicly confirming the number of positive cases at their plants."

In response to the outbreak, Trump has not mandated new protocols in meatpacking facilities to protect workers and the broader community. Instead, he's done the opposite. Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to designate "processors of beef, pork, and poultry" as "critical infrastructure during the national emergency." 

Trump's move may allow these facilities to continue operating even if ordered to shut down by state or local health officials. And it will help protect meat processors from legal liability if their workers get sick or die. 

Why is Trump doing this? Follow the money.   https://popular.info/p/trumps-chicken-man

PRO-LIFE is Affordable Healthcare for ALL .
Honored Social Butterfly

So serious is the apparent threat to our supply of burgers, bacon and chicken wings that President Donald Trump — though heretofore reluctant to invoke the Defense Protection Act for desperately needed personal protective equipment for front-line health care providers — invoked it now to prevent empty supermarket shelves in the meat departments. 

 

 

He doesn't care about empty shelves in the meat departments, it's angry voters in November that lit the fire under his fat backside.

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