Sign the petition: Demand stronger workplace health and safety protections for frontline food workers

U.S. Congress

This April, Trump issued an executive order, allowing meat companies like Tyson, Smithfield, Cargill, and JBS to stay open during the pandemic. This news comes despite the fact that thousands of meat processing workers and over one hundred U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat inspectors have tested positive for COVID-19.

Frontline food workers still lack the necessary protective gear to keep themselves safe in the workplace and are dying from the virus at alarming rates. Congress must act to protect workers after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Center for Disease Control inexplicably made worker protections voluntary for these meat-packer corporations. The Trump administration and mainstream media are incorrectly saying this is needed to maintain our food supply. But we know Trump’s decision comes at the cost of workers and their communities’ safety and lives. In order to protect workers and keep communities safe, OSHA must enact and enforce emergency protections for food workers today.

According to a lawsuit filed against Smithfield on April 23, 2020 and what labor activists are hearing from workers across all food sectors, workers are still being forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, without sufficient workplace protections. Workers nationwide are demanding OSHA issue and enforce mandatory emergency health and safety standards to protect workers.

Food workers are essential, not disposable, and are courageously speaking out against dangerous work conditions. And there is no time to waste. Members of Congress must act immediately to protect their constituents by compelling OSHA and food companies to save workers’ lives and to protect community members across the country.

Sign the petition: Congress must compel OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers.

Participating Organizations:
Center for Food Safety
Corporate Accountability
Daily Kos
Food Chain Workers Alliance
HEAL Food Alliance
Pesticide Action Network North America

To: U.S. Congress
From: [Your Name]

The people who grow, harvest, process, truck, prepare, serve, sell, and deliver food are all essential workers. They are still on the job, and are at excessively high risk for contracting COVID-19. That’s why I, your constituent, am calling on you to pass legislation compelling OSHA to issue an emergency standard that provides mandatory, clear and enforceable protections to protect food workers and all essential workers from COVID-19.