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UFCW Expands Vaccine Access for 12,000 Meatpacking Workers Across the Country in New Partnerships with State Leaders and Top Industry Employers

March 5, 2021 Updated: March 7, 2021

Nurse Vaccinating Man

America’s Largest Meatpacking Union Announces New Programs to Provide Vaccine Access for Frontline Food Workers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million essential workers in food and retail, announced new partnerships across the country to expand COVID vaccine access for more than 12,000 essential food workers in plants across ColoradoIowaKansasNebraska, and Texas. This comes as UFCW confirms that more than 30 states are failing to prioritize these workers for vaccine access, despite the ongoing COVID risks with more than 137 meatpacking worker deaths and over 21,900 meatpacking workers infected or exposed as the pandemic continues.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“As the pandemic continues, America’s essential food workers continue to face daily COVID risks on the frontlines in meatpacking and food processing plants across the country. UFCW’s new partnerships with state and industry leaders will expand vaccine access to more than 12,000 essential food workers in these plants, helping to prevent the deadly outbreaks we saw last year and keep our food supply secure as this crisis continues. 

“The brutal truth is that even as these essential workers continue to get sick and die from this virus, most states are failing to prioritize them for vaccine access. We are grateful to our partners in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas for stepping up to join us in this week’s vaccine rollout and urge governors and CEOs in every state to act swiftly to ensure every essential food worker in America has access to the vaccine. Lives are on the line and we cannot wait any longer.”

Background:

As part of the new UFCW partnerships with state and/or industry leaders, COVID vaccine access will be expanded to more than 12,000 essential workers at the following facilities:

  • Smithfield Pork Plant – Denison, Iowa
  • National Beef Plant – Dodge City, Kansas
  • JBS Beef Plant – Grand Island, Nebraska
  • JBS Beef Plant – Greeley, Colorado
  • Cargill Beef Plant – Friona, Texas
  • Smithfield Pork Plant – Mason City, Iowa
  • Tyson Pork Plant – Perry, Iowa
  • Cargill Beef Plant – Schuyler, Nebraska
  • Tyson Pork Plant – Waterloo, Iowa

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UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org