People Before Profit says Shocking USA Evidence Shows Meat Plants need to Close
Whole Communities at Risk Due to Failure of Government to close plants
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has said today that meat plants need to be closed urgently.
Deputy Bríd Smith TD said:
“The evidence from the USA is shocking. A report published on Thursday May 14, based on cases reported to John Hopkins University, shows that, “Counties with or near meatpacking plants have almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average”.
It goes on to say that, “Meatpacking plants, along with prisons and senior living facilities, are the hottest hot spots for COVID-19 infections” and that “Meat plant outbreaks are among the largest drivers of the recent eight-fold growth in COVID-19 cases in rural America.”
Deputy Smith continued:
“The issue of what’s going on in the meat plants is an issue for all of us because of the risk of infection spreading beyond the plants. There are now 12 clusters with up to 600 cases.
“Not enough has been done to address the safety of workers in these plants and urgent action is now needed. The response of the Minister for Agriculture today, on RTÉs This Week, was completely inadequate and does not reflect the urgency of the situation.
“I support the call of Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland that the plants be close immediately for two weeks. No workers should be forced to return to work until it is safe.”