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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)

September 16, 2020

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), today released the following statement in support of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7’s (UFCW 7) protest against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) $15,615 fine on JBS following multiple COVID-19 deaths and illnesses at its Greeley, Colorado, meatpacking plant.

“OSHA’s meager $15,615 fine on JBS is a slap in the face to all who believe in the difference of right and wrong,” said DeLauro. “My deepest sympathies are with the UFCW 7 victims and their families who have been failed by their employer and the federal agencies tasked with regulating them. No worker should ever have to sacrifice their life for a paycheck.”

Earlier this week, emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that representatives from the meatpacking industry repeatedly pressured, and ultimately received, leniency from federal regulators.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate meatpacking giants like JBS have misled the public about the safety of their plant workers,” continued DeLauro. “They have repeatedly interfered with efforts by local health authorities to protect their communities and, instead, found safe harbor in a Trump Administration that is more concerned with protecting industry profits rather than people’s lives. This must end.”

Earlier this summer, DeLauro released a Food and Agriculture Action Plan that called for the creation of an Intergovernmental Task Force to protect meat processing workers by strengthening and enforcing guidelines to meatpacking companies. In July, she introduced the Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act with Rep. Fudge, Rep. Thompson, and Sen. Booker to rein in fast line speeds in order to facilitate proper social distancing and other precautions inside meatpacking plants.