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Smithfield wants flexibility on coronavirus guidelines
Trump: Will have report on protecting workers in meat processing plants
President Trump says food distributors are ‘thrilled’ that the administration has ‘unblocked bottlenecks’ cause by the coronavirus pandemic, and that formal protections will be in place for workers.
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O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The world's largest pork producer told a judge in Missouri on Thursday that it was working as quickly as it can to comply with federal guidelines that seek to slow the spread of the coronavirus but that it needs some flexibility in an industry where people typically work side by side.
The comments from a lawyer for Smithfield Foods came as a judge weighed whether to issue a mandatory injunction requiring a rural Missouri meat plant to abide by federal guidelines. The lawsuit, filed by a worker identified only as Jane Doe, accuses the Virginia-based company of not doing enough to protect workers.
The worker's attorney, David Muraskin, told the judge that the pork processing plant in Milan, Missouri, is not requiring workers to stand 6 feet (1.83 meters) apart, is using "small, flimsy" plexiglass to separate workers in break rooms, and is not performing adequate testing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.