JBS employees protest workplace safety due to COVID-19

Employees of JBS protest the way the company is handling the COVID-19 crisis.

LOGAN- Nearly 60 employees of JBS, the meat packing plant in Hyrum, gathered in front of the Historic Cache County Courthouse along Main Street on Tuesday to protest their employer and what they consider as meager efforts to curb COVID-19 in the workplace.

Employees of JBS wants the company to close and sanitize the plant.

“We met with JBS management in their parking lot this morning and told them we wanted them to shut down the plant for a week and sanitize it and make it safe,” said a man who wanted to remain anonymous. “And we want to be paid for time they were out.”

He said there were nearly 300 positive cases of COVID-19 at JBS and there could be more if they don’t close the facility down.

Some of the crowd said they had been working for the meat plant for 13 years, others 10 years, and some less than one year.

Motorists honked in support of the protesters.

We were told to go back to work even if we have been tested and haven’t got our results back,” the man said. “They care more about making money than they do about their workers.”

The Hyrum facility employs over 1,400 workers with a large number of them from Latin-American countries.

JBS spokesman Cameron Bruett said the company has tried to enhance their sanitation efforts, increasing telework options and heightened health protocols. They have increased worker benefits to protect the health and well-being of their employees.

The international company has had several other facilities close for a short time to clean and sanitize the work areas.

Nikki Richardson, a spokesperson for JBS, said that the health and safety of their team members remains the company’s highest priority. They have implemented a wide of range of measures to combat COVID-19 in the Hyrum facility.

We recently partnered with the Utah Department of Health to provide mandatory testing of our Hyrum workforce,” Richardson said. “We are following CDC guidance to quarantine all team members who have tested positive, the facility is operating at reduced capacity this week and we are conducting additional deep cleaning.”

JBS employees end their protest on Tuesday after trying to draw attention to the company’s COVID-19 policies.

JBS is coordinating with the local health department and public health officials to determine the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the virus out of the plant.

“We are following all CDC and OSHA issued guidance around safety and social distancing, and we’re doing everything possible to provide a safe working environment for our team members who are providing food for us all during these unprecedented times,” Richardson said.

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15 Comments

  • Dean June 9, 2020 at 5:28 pm Reply

    If they don’t like the conditions of their job then quit. I have quit jobs that management, conditions, and etc. that I do not agree with.
    Perhaps KSL or other news media organizations can hire them where they can work from home and flap their trap.

    • Kandie L. Rosales June 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm Reply

      First of all, this is still America! We fought for better housing, healthcare, working conditions and wages. Secondly, this is a pandemic with a new and an extremely deadly ‘new’ virus. Unless you have a death wish, others want uncontaminated food. Some people can afford to be choosey in picking the job of their dreams–and education doesn’t guarantee that either anymore. Thirdly, it may not be long before a lot of us are unemployed, out-of-business, or hungry and sick . One never knows! Perhaps the changes these JBS workers make today will benefit you tomorrow when splatter hits the fan. However, if the virus is spread via fresh meat, some of us might not get to see tommorow.

    • KIM June 9, 2020 at 8:27 pm Reply

      Hilarious joke. /s
      JBS employees are primarily immigrants and Latinos. Remember how ICE raided the place in recent years? I wonder how few got economic recovery checks from the president you love.
      You must live under a bridge because those words come from a TROLL.

      • Michael June 10, 2020 at 7:13 pm Reply

        You must be in the US legally to work in a food plant. See Food Safety Modernization Act. So as long as they did their taxes they got checks. I worked in a food plant for many years in Colorado. We do E verify and background checks on every employee

    • 13 years at jbs June 10, 2020 at 6:12 am Reply

      You have no idea how hard those people work dummy,oops, i mean dean. You’ll feel different when you go to the store and your shelves are empty. If their company tells them to go back to work before their test results come back, thats how you make more employees sick, and people in the community. You wouldnt last a day in the meat plant. Flap that!

    • Kevin June 10, 2020 at 9:30 am Reply

      This is a ridiculous statement.

    • Jose June 10, 2020 at 1:55 pm Reply

      Right there’s someone who understands.

    • Dee June 15, 2020 at 10:07 am Reply

      OMG!!! i Cannot believe you actually open your rude mouth and said that!!! It is nice that you can afford to just quit jobs, and get new ones when most middle class are going paycheck to paycheck!! it takes two incomes to survive in todays market, You can’t even afford to buy a house anymore… some families go hungry even when parents are working multiple jobs and a lot with ZERO Insurance! So the next time you decide to make outrageous, indecent exceptionally rude comments please do the rest a favor and DON’T!!!

  • Kandie L. Rosales June 9, 2020 at 5:44 pm Reply

    JBS should be shut down until safely cleaned. This virus is running rampant in Cache Valley right now! I wonder, can the virus live and be passed on raw meat? Between buying and cooking that meat, can we spread Covid-19? There’s still a lot of unknowns. Mean time, infections are rising in Cache Valley. I will stand-up for the health and safety of our JBS employees just as they have, and are, standing up for us.

  • Guy Schott June 9, 2020 at 6:47 pm Reply

    My wife has been at JBS 21yrs. They are doing their best. Yes she is white and rasied a beautiful family. At 59 she feels sorry what’s happening. But she’s proud. Grand Island. Stay safe.

  • James bond June 9, 2020 at 10:43 pm Reply

    JBS has a long standing record idiotic management decisions. Citizens complain about illegals in this country, well Company’s like JBS is why we have them. They do no back ground checks. Maybe if Companies like JBS would do there do diligence we wouldn’t have the problem like the 7 that skipped town that were to be quarantined with covid19. Also illegals wouldn’t be here if businesses would quit hiring them. We could also talk about the Oder and how they have contaminated the ground through the years.

    • Marc Fuentes June 10, 2020 at 1:23 pm Reply

      It is disappointing how many bigots there are in Cache Valley. “Illegals” are human beings, just like you or I. And they have as much right as you or I to the rights afforded to all of us. Illegal entry is essentially a misdemeanor. If the United States’ racist immigration quotas weren’t so low in number, fewer people would be entering the United State improperly.

      • Free Bird June 12, 2020 at 5:59 pm Reply

        Actually, it is a Felony to hire illegal aliens. Have you ever heard of Aiding and Abetting? I like how you liberals rush to call people names to try and shut them up. Show me exactly where you came up with illegal aliens have the same rights as a US Citizen?
        We used to have a Sheriff’s Department that worked with INS and actually removed these illegal aliens from workplaces.

  • Neece June 15, 2020 at 10:16 am Reply

    Oh my word! I Cannot believe you actually open your rude mouth and said that!!! It is nice that you can afford to just quit jobs, and get new ones when most middle class are going paycheck to paycheck!! it takes two incomes to survive in todays market, You can’t even afford to buy a house anymore… some families go hungry even when parents are working multiple jobs and a lot with zero Insurance! So the next time you decide to make outrageous, indecent exceptionally rude comments please do the rest a favor and don’t!

  • AJ June 15, 2020 at 3:33 pm Reply

    Worked with JBS for several years. Its Cultural Values have no place for People or Compassion. They are Profit first People Last company. All the employees want is the company sanitize .That is not a lot to ask for when we are facing a deadly virus.

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