DENVER — A union representing workers at a Colorado meatpacking plant where six workers died of COVID-19 and hundreds more were infected staged a protest Wednesday, claiming that federal officials should have fined the company more for its alleged failure to provide safe working conditions.
The JBS USA-owned plant in Greeley was issued a $15,615 fine on Sept. 11 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union called the fine for the multi-billion dollar company “insulting” and “ineffectual,” but JBS says it’s unwarranted. The union’s Local 7, which represents about 3,000 workers at the plant, asked co-workers and relatives of those who died and were infected to protest outside OSHA’s Denver offices.
“After seven deaths and seven months they issued a lousy, measly $15,000 fine,” local president Kim Cordova declared to several dozen demonstrators, some holding signs that read “Shame on OSHA” and “Life is cheap for JBS.”