Hundreds still off the job at Smithfield in Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Union leaders at the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls say hundreds of workers are still absent because of the coronavirus pandemic.

AFL-CIO secretary treasurer BJ Motley says between 800 and 1,200 of the plant’s 3,700 employees are either quarantined, have tested positive for the virus or fall into a high-risk category.

Those in the high-risk category were previously going to be asked to return to work June 15, but after discussions with the union that date was extended to June 29.

Motley says Smithfield will continue to pay workers who were either quarantined or had the disease while they stay home until July 31.