April 3, 2020
Chief Executive Officer
JBS USA Holdings, Inc.
Greeley, Colorado, USA
We write with deep concern about the health and well-being of the workers at your meat-processing plant in Greeley, CO. The Denver Post reported this week that hundreds of workers called in sick. UFCW Local 7 claims that over 1,000 workers have called in sick this week, presumably due to the spread of Coronavirus in your plant.
Coloradans for the Common Good, a broad-based organization of congregations, unions, and civic organizations, met with Governor Jared Polis and CDLE Director Joe Barela last week to urge them to include grocery store and food processing workers in the Colorado HELP order. We were pleased that they took swift action to include all grocery store workers in the state under this protection. The grim news from your plant in Greeley underscores the need to extend this protection, immediately, to all workers deemed essential. This is a matter of public health and adequate food supply for all Coloradans.
We urge you to provide all the necessary protections to your workers, including the following:
- Extend the benefits of the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (Colorado HELP) emergency rule, such that “all workers under instructions from a health care provider to quarantine or isolate due to a risk of having COVID-19 even if not being tested.”
- Temperature checks for all workers at all shifts. With the approximately 4,500 workers in close proximity to one another, the potential for the virus to spread is very high.
- Posted COVID-19 health and safety information in all relevant languages in your workforce.
- Safe distancing between workers at all times.
- Adequate personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies available to all workers.
Governor Polis said that “our generation is being called on to sacrifice.” We agree. Hundreds of businesses are shuttered. Tens of thousands of workers are furloughed, laid off, or home sick. And children are staying home from school. JBS S.A., a global company with record-setting profits, should also share in the responsibility for the public health and economic well-being of Coloradans.
We hope you are available to talk with a group of clergy and institutional leaders from our network to discuss this most urgent matter. We will call your office to arrange a conversation right away.
On behalf of Coloradans for the Common Good
Rev. John Anderson
Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church; Arvada
Rev. Reagan Humber
Pastor, House for All Sinners & Saints; Denver
Dr. Joyce Brooks
Education Chair, Colorado NAACP
Marilyn Winokur, Chair of the Board
Jorge Montiel, Lead Organizer
Coloradans for the Common Good is a broad based, non-partisan network of organizations, affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation – the oldest and largest community organizing network, organized for ordinary people to have a powerful voice in the decisions that affect their lives and communities.