WASHINGTON (AP) — Unions in the U.S. meat packing industry say President Donald Trump is jeopardizing lives and prioritizing cold cuts over workers’ health.
Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order under the Defense Production Act to classify meat processing as critical infrastructure during the coronavirus outbreak.
The goal is to try to prevent a shortage of chicken, pork and other meat on supermarket shelves. More than 20 meatpacking plants have closed temporarily because of the outbreak.
One union estimates that 6,500 workers are sick or have been exposed while working near someone who tested positive. At least 20 workers have died.