Colorado JBS Meat-Plant Workers Get Access to Covid Vaccine

A Colorado beef plant that was the site of a deadly coronavirus outbreak will soon distribute thousands of vaccine doses.

Vaccines will be offered at JBS USA’s facility in Greeley for members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 and other employees associated with the plant on March 5-6, according to a statement Wednesday from the union. The plant will be shut on those days and workers choosing to be vaccinated will receive four hours of pay and $100, the company said in a statement.

“Nearly one year since the first outbreak at the JBS Greeley plant the union has succeeded in securing vaccine access for the thousands of its essential workers,” said Kim Cordova, president of the UFCW local.

Efforts are beginning to accelerate to vaccinate meat-plant workers after doses became available for front-line workers in the second phase of the U.S. program.

Workers getting sick at the Greeley plant prompted its temporary shutdown in April. Eventually, 415 workers at the facility tested positive and six died, according to data compiled by the Food and Environment Reporting Network. Food plants across the U.S. halted operations, sending meat prices soaring.

JBS and UFCW, which represents 3,000 workers at the JBS Greeley site, were coordinating with the National Guard and Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ office, according to the statements.

JBS USA, a unit of JBS SA, the world’s largest meat company, vaccinated almost 700 essential workers at its Beardstown, Illinois, site on Feb. 12, according to its statement.

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