WASHINGTON, D.C. (KAMR/KCIT) — Workers at the Cargill Beef Plant in Friona along with more than 12,000 essential workers in meatpacking plants nationwide, will have more access to COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
The vaccine access is the result of collaborative efforts between UFCW and state and industry leaders, union officials said. It was formulated in an effort to protect the nation’s meatpacking workers and food supply.
The UFCW represents 1.3 million essential workers in food and retail across America. In a release, union officials stated more than 137 meatpacking workers nationwide have died from COVID-19, and almost 22,000 meatpacking workers have been infected or exposed in the ongoing pandemic.
“As the pandemic continues, America’s essential food workers continue to face daily COVID risks on the frontlines in meatpacking and food processing plants across the country,” said Marc Perrone, International President of the UFCW. “UFCW’s new partnerships with state and industry leaders will expand vaccine access to more than 12,000 essential food workers in these plants, helping to prevent the deadly outbreaks we saw last year and keep our food supply secure as this crisis continues.
“The brutal truth is that even as these essential workers continue to get sick and die from this virus, most states are failing to prioritize them for vaccine access. We are grateful to our partners in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas for stepping up to join us in this week`s vaccine rollout and urge governors and CEOs in every state to act swiftly to ensure every essential food worker in America has access to the vaccine. Lives are on the line and we cannot wait any longer.”
According to UFCW, the following facilities will now have COVID-19 vaccine access:
- Cargill Beef Plant – Friona, Texas
- Smithfield Pork Plant – Denison, Iowa
- National Beef Plant – Dodge City, Kansas
- JBS Beef Plant – Grand Island, Nebraska
- JBS Beef Plant – Greeley, Colorado
- Smithfield Pork Plant – Mason City, Iowa
- Tyson Pork Plant – Perry, Iowa
- Cargill Beef Plant – Schuyler, Nebraska
- Tyson Pork Plant – Waterloo, Iowa
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