Place your bets

Something to keep in mind as you eat your grilled chicken breast:

Supervisors at an Iowa Tyson Foods, a major US meat processor, placed bets on how many workers would become infected with coronavirus as an outbreak raged through the plant this spring, a wrongful death suit alleges.

The lawsuit, filed this week by the son of an employee who died with Covid-19, claims the company demonstrated “wanton disregard for worker safety”.

Isidro Fernandez, who died in April, was one of more than 1,000 workers infected amid the plant’s outbreak.

Meatpackers are notoriously terrible at worker safety. The company said it was ever so upset to hear it, but I don’t believe them. As I said – meatpackers are horrendous at worker safety. The conditions are appalling.

According to court records, the company was advised by the county sheriff to shut the plant as infection spread this spring, but it did not. Tony Thompson, the Black Hawk county sheriff, said the facility’s working conditions “shook him to the core”, the filing said.

See? This is what I’m saying. The workers have to cut up the chicken or pork or whatever it is at lightning speed, with very sharp tools. It’s one of the most dangerous jobs there is.

In its statement on Thursday, Tyson said its “top priority” was the health of its employees, and said it had invested “hundreds of millions of dollars” in its US facilities since the start of the outbreak, putting protective measures like temperature scanners and workstation dividers in place.

No, its top priority is making money.

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