Inside Indiana Business
LOGANSPORT – Testing was expected to begin Thursday at a Logansport pork processing plant where dozens of workers have already tested positive for the coronavirus.
The company says it suspended production at the facility on Monday for additional deep cleaning and sanitizing but had been running with limited production since then. All production is expected to stop on or before Saturday.
“While we understand the necessity of keeping our facilities operational so that we can continue to feed the nation, the safety of our team members remains our top priority,” Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, said in a news release. “Our company is deeply embedded in our plant communities, including Logansport. We’re working with the county to make sure our people and the community are safe. The combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns have resulted in a collective decision to close.”
Tyson says all employees at the facility will continue to be paid while the plant is closed. The company adds production will resume depending on several factors, including the results of the employee testing.
Tyson Foods has also indefinitely suspended operations at its pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa. The company’s additional meat and poultry plans are continuing to operate, though Tyson says some are running at reduced production levels.
Josh Trenary, executive director of Indiana Pork, issued the following announcement in reaction to the shutdown of Tyson Fresh Meats.
“In the long run, if that’s what it takes to make sure plant employees are safe and plants can continue to operate then it’s all worth it. In the meantime though, these temporary shutdowns and other plant labor issues across the country are causing even more of a backup of pigs on farms. Severe backups can cause animal welfare issues that farmers may have to take drastic measures to resolve,” Trenary said.
SOURCE: Inside Indiana Business