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Fearing virus, Nebraska meatpacking workers briefly walk out

meat packing plant smithfield
Posted at 10:57 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 11:57:39-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is promising to boost his coronavirus outreach efforts to the town of Crete, the state’s newest coronavirus hot spot where cases have surged and local meatpacking workers staged a brief, impromptu walkout out of fear for their own safety.

About 50 workers at the Smithfield Foods pork plant walked off the job after company officials announced that the facility would remain open, just hours after they had said it would close to contain an outbreak. The walkout wasn’t union-sanctioned, and the workers eventually went back into the plant to discuss their concerns with managers. But their local union representative says it highlights the stress many workers are feeling.