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Coronavirus: Should Food Processing Workers Prioritize Vaccines?

With the COVID-19 crisis approaching its second year, the food processing industry wants the state to include factory workers in the next phase of vaccination.

After a two-week shutdown, the Olymel pork processing plant in Red Deer, Arta, resumed operations on Thursday.

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“Frightened Labor”: The union is worried as Olimel will resume after the shutdown of COVID-19.

The outbreak of COVID-19 caused more than 500 infections and killed at least 3 people.

Thomas Hess, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union (UFCW), said: Local 401.

Alberta food processing death

The deaths of three people at Olymel caused the most deadly COVID-19 outbreak in a Canadian meat processing facility.

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Throughout Alberta, six workers have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. 51-year-old Benito Kesada and 67-year-old Hiepbuy worked at the Cargill beef processing plant on the High River, 50-year-old Henry worked at de Leon, and 35-year-old Darwin Doloque worked at Olymel.

The third Olymel worker has not yet been identified. The sixth dead was a worker at a JBS beef processing plant in the town of Brooks, about an hour east of Calgary.






COVID-19: Olymel Meat Factory Resumes Operations at Red Deer


COVID-19: Olymel Meat Factory Resumes Operations at Red Deer

While there were other outbreaks related to meat processing plants across the country, the outbreaks at Cargill and Brooks’ JBS facilities on the High River last spring, and the recent Olymel outbreak at Red Deer, are one of the largest outbreaks in the country. is.

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Alberta NDP is seeking an investigation to find out why.

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Canada’s meat packaging industry is undergoing major changes following COVID-19

A research project at the University of Calgary is also under investigation, but so far it has been revealed a year after the pandemic. Workers at these facilities continue to face incredible risks.

“Looking at the entire (food) supply chain, I think the most vulnerable workers are in the middle of the process because things are tight and things are fierce,” said Sylvain Charlebois, science director at Agri-Foods. I am. Analytical Lab at Dalhousie University.

“Working conditions aren’t great for people, but they are great for viruses.”

As a result, the industry is calling on the state to prioritize these workers in the next phase of the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Chris White, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Meat Council, said:

“Whatever we can do to ensure the safety of our workers, and thus their families, is the responsibility we advocate.”


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New report shows Canada’s food processing vulnerabilities


New report shows Canada’s food processing vulnerabilities – December 17, 2020

Charboa believes that last year there were more than 15 temporary closures of COVID-19-related meat processing facilities nationwide.

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“Manufacturing plants are part of the supply chain,” he said. “In some cases, we’ve actually seen some cases of euthanasia, for example, because long-term storage of pigs in the backlog requires feeding the pigs, which can be expensive. “

British Columbia and Ontario list the workers who are essential to Phase 3 of the state’s vaccine introduction schedule. This is the population scheduled to be vaccinated later this spring.

Alberta’s plans do not prioritize essential workers, but the government said they could be included in the next phase of the state’s vaccine deployment if adequate supplies were available.

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Coronavirus: Should Food Processing Workers Prioritize Vaccines?

Source link Coronavirus: Should Food Processing Workers Prioritize Vaccines?

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