Complaint Says Meatpacking Plants Discriminated Against Minority Workers

DES MOINES, Iowa - A civil rights complaint is being filed with the federal Agriculture Department accusing meatpacking companies Tyson and JBS of racial discrimination.

WHO-TV reports that the complaint says the companies have engaged in racial discrimination through their workforce policies during the pandemic.

It says their policies ignored CDC guidelines on social distancing, and says current procedures are discriminatory on the mostly Black, Latino and Asian workforce in Iowa.

“These companies continued to ignore these very clear signs of danger for these communities knowing the type of communities, the demographics that they employ,” Alejandro Ortiz told WHO-TV. Ortiz is part of the complaint against the two companies.

Iowa did not take part in a CDC study released this week that showed 87 percent of of workers at meat processing plants who tested postitive for COVID-19 were racial or ethnic minorities.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says the information requested by the CDC is publicly available at its coronavirus website.

The CDC report says 9% of meatpacking plant workers have contracted COVID-19.

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