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Union reports two cases of COVID-19 at Patrick Cudahy

NOW: Union reports two cases of COVID-19 at Patrick Cudahy


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Former Patrick Cudahy employee union representative Walter Garron says workers are afraid after at least two employees tested positive for COVID-19, and they want a safer work environment.

“They check everybody’s bags when they walk out, when they walk in, in case they steal something," Garron said. "Why not have one of those guards with a thermostat checking people’s temperatures.”

Local 1473 sent a letter to the company shortly after the second coronavirus case saying in part, “We understand you have not informed all of the members of the second case. I want you to understand that we have received over 50 phone calls regarding the first case…these calls have been with your employees who feel Patrick Cudahy hasn’t kept them safe and isn’t taking this pandemic seriously.”

“Where they work, they are line," Garron said. "So they have to work about two or three feet apart from each other.”

Smithfield, the parent company for the plant, said in a statement, in part, "We have instituted a series of stringent and detailed processes and protocols that follow the strict guidance of the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) to effectively manage any potential COVID-19 cases in our operations. To be certain, these measures include mandatory 14-day COVID-19 related quarantines with pay."

Employment attorney Nola Hitchcock Cross said the union did the right thing sending a letter. She said if you have a problem with your workplace during the pandemic, tell your employer first. You can always reach out to OSHA if the issue is not resolved. 

“They should certainly tell the employer that they are doing that, which gives them a little bit of protection in terms of the employer can’t retaliate against people who are bringing issues to OSHA,” Hitchcock Cross said.

Smithfield says they have enhanced cleaning and disinfecting at all of their plants across the country.

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Barb 64 days ago
As of March 29 2020 Patrick Cudahy has done nothing they said they were going to do about hiring professional cleaning companies to disinfect the plant for COVID-19 virus after at least 2 employees tested positive. What we observed Friday March 27th one of the supervisors walking around spraying areas with Lysol spray
Charles 66 days ago
Their “screw the employee” attitude stems from their psychotic, arrogant, sorry excuse of a human being production manager! I am a current employee here at PCI and have been for quite some time and let me assure you that his “philosophy” on leadership is either mirrored by all leaders beneath (and many above) him or they are kicked to the curb. I mean, I seen this guy chuck a lab coat at another employee’s face and now they’re going to come out talking about employees being their most cherished asset and blah blah blah. Give me a break. Their most cherished asset is $ and nothing more. I mean, what kind of leaders try to hide that they have cases of the corona virus???? I’ll tell you what kind....the kind that are not afraid at all to throw lab coats into peoples faces....that’s what kind! And I say this without actually even being in the guys chain of command. This is his culture and he took years creating it!
Barb Charles 64 days ago
GOOD FOR You, I totally agree my hubby is a long time employee and states they are not doing anything about spreading this virus & not take any actions to sanitize as they claimed they would
Lisa 66 days ago
Sadly, Patrick Cudahy is owned by Chinese conglomerate who now owns all Smithfield products. Their treatment of animals is abhorrent with animals confined to packed, dark warehouses and immense cruelty. None of this is good for anyone or the planet

Speciesism, the movie, includes drone footage that exposes Smithfield’s operations in North Carolina.
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