Smithfield, for means of disclosure, is 100% owned by a Chinese company closely tied to the Chinese military. They own plants across the US and are under attack for infecting workers, so it is alleged.
Though Smithfield is Chinese owned, it is also a powerful contributor to the GOP governors who have opposed lockdowns. In fact, the GOP’s lockdown effort traces directly to cash payments from industries that benefit at the cost of the health and safety or their workers and the communities they live in.
There is also the minor issue about the safety of the food supply and why anyone might think food products produced there would be free of COVID.
They are also under investigation for human trafficking, that a company called Global Horizons recruits workers in China then sends them to the US to work in factories, but these workers are “slaves,” as this Deseret News article indicate.
SMITHFIELD FOODS, the meat industry giant facing mounting questions over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, repeatedly failed to protect its workforce at a Wisconsin plant, according to workers who spoke to The Intercept.
The Untold Story of the Biggest Outbreak of Covid-19–The Smithfield pork plant with over 700 cases
The workers requested masks & other PPE, temperature-checking & sanitation stations.
"Management dragged their feet, didn't take worker demands seriously"https://t.co/coD6ZeMPs9
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) April 17, 2020
One hour east of the huge COVID-19 outbreak at the Smithfield meat processing plant in Sioux Falls, a new outbreak at another meat plant in Worthington Minnesota:https://t.co/jEcaTqk34t
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) April 17, 2020
The workers at the Patrick Cudahy factory, in Cudahy, Wisconsin, faced a Covid-19 outbreak weeks ago, but say managers initially concealed the number of infections, pressured employees to avoid quarantine measures, and failed to provide any face masks or dividers.
Smithfield Foods offered a $500 “responsibility bonus” to workers who didn’t miss a shift in April. Now hundreds are sick. https://t.co/YEHmcDYM3X
— Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) April 16, 2020
A recent outbreak at Smithfield’s pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is now one of the largest Covid-19 hotspots in the U.S., with 644 confirmed cases tied to the facility. The Smithfield outbreak represents nearly half of all confirmed cases in that state.
We asked Smithfield why its plant became the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the US:
"Living circumstances in certain cultures are different than they are with your traditional American family."
But our investigation found company missteps are to blame: https://t.co/K29xKvRctF
— Albert Samaha (@AlbertSamaha) April 20, 2020
Now, the Wisconsin plant, which employs more than 1,000 workers, has more than two dozen confirmed cases and closed down on Wednesday for cleaning and sanitation. Workers at the plant, who spoke to The Intercept under condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, say much more should have been done.
"'I have kids. I have a son with asthma. I can’t afford to get sick and bring that home to my child. I’m risking his life and my life. It’s just not right,' said the employee." https://t.co/rLOBinJ10I
— Coworker.org (@teamcoworker) April 21, 2020
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem accuses Washington Post of blatant disregard for facts surrounding the Smithfield Foods COVID-19 outbreak https://t.co/aBR9gtXDIB
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) April 16, 2020
One plant worker with asthma said that when he asked for a mask last month, an official at the company declined his request because if he was provided one, Smithfield would “have to do it for everyone else.”
A Minnesota JBS pork processing plant just closed due to COVID; add that to the Smithfield plant in ND, and that's more than 8% of the nation's processing capacity down; add in the one-day Tyson plant shutdown in IN, that's 11% of total capacityhttps://t.co/L2XdmmjUk5
— Jayson Lusk (@JaysonLusk) April 20, 2020
He said that one of his co-workers had brought his own mask and was reprimanded to Smithfield’s human resources department, which told him that wearing his own mask would result in suspension.
Craig Franken celebrated his 40th work anniversary with the company last year and was planning to retire from the plant in a few years, according to the obituary. https://t.co/JtJi2RjVEe
— argusleader (@argusleader) April 21, 2020
We are told managers at the Smithfield Food plant in Tar Heel, NC promised workers $500 bonuses for not calling out of work during the month of April. An undisclosed number of workers tested positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/wXaCrNImfI pic.twitter.com/FwrSZO88Ln
— Ashlea Kosikowski 🎙🎥 (@AshleaOnAir) April 20, 2020