LULAC Says Meatpacking Workers Safety Still A Priority
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Continues to Seek Progress Through Direct Dialogue with Companies
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today announced that it has seen progress in working environments for the nation’s meatpacking workers amid COVID-19 and intends to continue seeking constructive engagement with food producers as the path forward.
“LULAC is not giving up its right to speak out on many important issues facing our community,” says Domingo Garcia, National President. “However, our single focus here and now is worker safety for the tens of thousands of Latinos who are still going into meatpacking plants every day. To get that, we are meeting with the CEO’s of these companies and going into the plants to see for ourselves the changes they’re making to fight the coronavirus. The virus is the enemy,” he added.
LULAC is presenting food producers with a five-point set of principles for progress that includes: monthly testing of all workers for COVID-19, complete personal protection equipment, line speed to labor adjustment, compensation for infected workers undergoing care and assistance to families who have lost loved ones to coronavirus. So far, LULAC has met with JBS in Greeley Colorado and Tyson Foods in Springdale, Arkansas. Both have made significant strides. Discussions are also underway with Cargill in Minnetonka, Minnesota to begin a similar review.
“There is still more that can and must be done which we will achieve by working together with companies that are making necessary changes and we can’t get sidetracked by other agendas that distract us from worker safety,” says Garcia. “Ultimately, we need new legislation and federal funding to assist meat producers and workers in making vital design and operational changes that benefit our nation’s food supply plants and workers. It’s an ambitious goal but in the end, America will be a better nourished nation for it and equally important, the workers will have a safer work place. LULAC will continue to monitor all progress and continue to dialogue with workers” he added.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/