Washington: This week, the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign launched a petition to expand and strengthen protections for essential workers employed within the meat industry. Meat industry workers have few legal protections and are chronically undervalued in an industry that has rapidly consolidated in the past decades. After only a few days, the petition had already won thousands of signatures.
The announcement of the petition followed President Donald Trump’s executive order last week that declared meat industry workers essential and announced the re-opening of meat packing plants without plans for guaranteeing the protection of workers, including those struggling with high case counts. Thousands of workers in the industry had already contracted COVID-19 and some plants had already been forced to close.
“These workers have always been essential, but the industry has failed to reflect that status”
Amanda Hitt, Director of the Food Integrity Campaign, said “This petition is the first step toward valuing the people who grow, pick, and process our food. These workers have always been essential, but the industry has failed to provide protections and resources that reflect that status. The COVID-19 pandemic is further deepening the disparity between plant workers risking their lives to work and industry power-players who continue to exploit workers to increase their bottom line. Immediate action is necessary to prevent even more lives being needlessly lost.”
Contact: Amanda Hitt
Phone: (202) 457-0034 ext.
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.