LULAC To Meatpacking Company Owners And Elected Leaders: Much More Is Needed Now
Manhattan, Kansas - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today responded to the communication from the Office of the Governor, Kansas Department of Agriculture and the meatpacking industry informing Kansas communities the ways in which they are assisting plant employees.
“While some plants have adopted body-temperature checks, social distancing practices and spacing in several locations including lunch rooms and fabrication areas, the number of employees testing positive for COVID-19 is increasing rapidly,” said Madaí Rivera, State Director, Kansas LULAC. “It is clear and imperative that much more must be done now to save lives,” she added.
Rivera says Kansas LULAC is urging officials to require social distancing practices be implemented in locker rooms where all employees gather before and after their work shift and between breaks. Every single employee in each facility must be tested for COVID-19 to prevent the virus from spreading further. Many employees are staying home for various reasons related to this virus, leaving the few persons still working pulling a heavier load. Employees at-risk must absolutely stay home. However, plant managers should drastically reduce production, merge morning and afternoon shifts as one, if both have limited workers.
“I want this for my father who is over 60-years old and working at a meatpacking plant in Southwest Kansas as well as others who are deemed healthy and yet continue being exposed,” says Rivera. “They need to be safe and stay healthy. Additional testing, health precautions and a bearable workload is what these employees deserve. All plants must immediately adopt increased safety measurements across the board. As importantly, the workforce in meatpacking plants is very ethically and linguistically diverse creating a crucial need to provide COVID-19 information and updates in their native language,” concluded Rivera.
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/