Nebraska rejects mandated virus protections for meat workers

Nebraska Unicameral
Posted at 4:40 PM, May 18, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have rejected state-mandated coronavirus protections for meatpacking workers.

Opponents argued that slaughterhouses have already taken precautions and that the pandemic is nearly over.

Supporters say it was necessary to ensure that all plants are keeping their employees safe.

Lawmakers voted, 25-18, on Tuesday to sideline the measure for the rest of the year.

The bill faced an uphill battle because of concerns raised by Gov. Pete Ricketts. Lawmakers would have needed at least 30 supportive votes to override a veto.

An estimated 7,382 Nebraska meatpacking workers have tested positive since the pandemic began, 256 have been hospitalized and 28 have died.

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