Meatpacking Companies, OSHA Face Investigation Over Coronavirus In Plants

A U.S. House subcommittee is investigating coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants, citing the deaths of more than 250 employees nationwide and accusing the Trump administration of failing to enforce worker safety laws.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, announced the probe in a press release on Monday. He said he sent letters requesting documents from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of the Department of Labor, as well as three of the country’s largest meatpacking companies: Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS USA.

“Public reports indicate that under the Trump Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) failed to adequately carry out its responsibility for enforcing worker safety laws at meatpacking plants across the country, resulting in preventable infections and deaths,” Chairman Clyburn wrote to the agency. “It is imperative that the previous Administration’s shortcomings are swiftly identified and rectified to save lives in the months before coronavirus vaccinations are available for all Americans.”

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