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21 Mai 2020

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Investors call for increased protections for meat processing workers due to Covid-19

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Investors released a statement... highlighting risks to workers in the meat sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic along with recommendations they say will help safeguard all stakeholders, importantly workers, and by extension, their families and communities... The investors say the recommendations should be adopted by all companies connected to the sector, however, focus companies are publicly-traded companies with U.S. operations including Hormel (HRL), JBS S.A (JBSAY), Marfrig Global Foods SA (MRRTY), Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), Sanderson Farms (SAFM), Seaboard (SEB), Smithfield/WH Group (SFD), and Tyson Foods (TSN).

... The CDC has identified numerous COVID-19 cases among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities in 19 states... "[I]f worker safety in the meat sector is not immediately prioritized and outbreaks continue, the long-term business impacts will make it exponentially more difficult for these businesses to recover post-pandemic,”... [said] Peter van der Werf of Robeco... “Despite the fact that meat and poultry processing plants have already become hotspots for COVID-19, an executive order ordering these plants to remain open has put workers at increased risk... We have engaged with Tyson to urge the company to provide comprehensive protections for workers and avenues for workers to report concerns without fear of retaliation. Only then will the sector be able to withstand this crisis,”said Mary Beth Gallagher of Investor Advocates for Social Justice.