WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Union officials for JBS employees in Weld County confirm to CBS4 a fifth employee has died from coronavirus. The latest details were revealed on Sunday.
The plant reopened on Friday after being shut down for cleaning earlier this month.
Union officials say the latest victim is Way Ler, a Burmese employee who had been with the company for 11 years. They say, according to county data, more than 120 JBS employees tested positive for COVID-19; 74 of whom are United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW) Local 7 members.
The president of the union told CBS4 the employees shouldn’t have been allowed to return without everyone being tested for the virus. On Sunday, the union says they received a cease and desist letter from the company regarding its practices and tactics during the coronavirus outbreak at the plant.
Testing of management took place, but the plan to test all the workers fell apart when more requirements were added.
Those safety measures include ongoing disease mitigation and containment measures including:
- Sharing key messages with JBS employees.
- Requiring employees to wear face masks throughout their shift. Masks will be provided by JBS.
- Placing hand sanitizer throughout the production facility.
- Implementing physical distancing interventions for all workers.
- Increasing signage and communications in appropriate languages by JBS.
Employees returning to work will undergo a daily entry screening process and will be tested onsite. Employees were met with a tent in the parking lot with hand sanitizer, masks, and questions about any symptoms they might exhibit on Friday.