In April, despite his fever, a meatpacking worker continued to carve neck bones out of pig carcasses at a JBS plant in Iowa.
Two weeks later, he would test positive for COVID-19. But in the meantime, he said, he kept clocking in because of a punitive attendance system widely used in meatpacking plants: the point system.
October 20, 2020
Un día de junio, el teléfono de María Romero sonó, al contestar escuchó la aterradora respiración entrecortada de su madre.
La trabajadora de la planta avícola de Arkansas, de 59 años, con un susurro débil le dijo a su hija que había sido llevada de urgencia a la sala de emergencias, donde le diagnosticaron COVID-19. María Romero apenas podía entender las palabras, pero sabía que su madre se encontraba asustada y confundida.
“Ella sabía que algo andaba mal, pero no sabía qué estaba pasando,'' dijo Romero, de 36 años. “Podía percibir que estaba asustada.”
September 30, 2020
Maria Romero’s mother is among at least 4,627 Arkansas poultry workers to have been infected by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. More than half of them, like Romero’s mother, are Hispanic.
August 31, 2020
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit newsroom devoted to educating the public about crucial issues in the Midwest with a special focus on agribusiness and related topics such as government programs, environment and energy.
May 4, 2010
Some states have enforced rules to prevent COVID-19's spread among farmworkers, but the federal government hasn't done so, leaving many workers unprotected, advocates said.
September 21, 2020
The USDA created the Food Box program to help feed families struggling during the pandemic. A review by the Midwest Center shows that some program contractors were expected to work in a new field or with new products they weren’t used to handling.
July 15, 2020