Workers and their supporters held a “socially distanced car vigil demonstration.”
Workers allege that the Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing facility in Cold Spring, Minnesota, cases of Covid-19 amongst the workers have shot up dramatically. Stearns County is now a hotspot with over 1,200 cases.
Workers report that they are being subjected to labor in highly congested and unsafe conditions. Standards for providing distancing between workers to avoid transmission of the virus and proper PPE are not being provided in an effective manner or at all, proper cleaning and sanitary methods are being neglected and there is concern that the end meat products aren’t safe for consumers.
The mostly Latinx and Somali workers demanded the following:
- Pilgrim’s Pride should strictly follow State of Minnesota COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for the Meatpacking Industry.
- Close plant for two weeks and perform thorough and deep cleaning as stated in the COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Meatpacking Industry and CDC guidelines.
- Mass testing for all plant workers should be instituted by Pilgrim’s Pride. All workers should be paid while they are out of work. Families of those workers who test positive should be tested as well.
In the past, over 100 workers walked out in protest of how the poultry processing facility is handling worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic