Chicken Processors Working Overtime to Keep Employees Safe
April 3, 2020
These are certainly trying and unprecedented times, and NCC’s members are doing everything they can to 1) Keep their employees safe and 2) Work to keep chicken on the shelves. In that order.
Our members are following all of the CDC and local health department guidelines, and many have consulted with infectious disease physicians to develop site plans. We are maintaining for our members a COVID-19 resource page that can be found here: https://www.chickencheck.in/faq/covid-19-resources/.
Companies have enacted many additional measures to keep workers safe, including:
- Increasing cleaning and sanitation frequencies and intensities for equipment and common areas at processing facilities
- Increased frequency of hand washing/sanitation for employees
- Encouraging employees to stay home if they are not feeling well or believe they may have been exposed to the virus, while still receiving pay and no attendance penalty
- Heightened employee screening for any signs of illness, including temperature checks before entering the plant
- Practicing social distancing not only in common areas, such as break rooms and cafeterias, but also on production lines where possible
- Implementing travel restrictions and only allowing essential personnel into the plant
- Educating employees about the virus and ways to avoid catching it
- Company nurses have been trained on CDC protocols for COVID-19
Each company policy is different, but companies are offering paid sick leave, bonus/hazard pay, free chicken for employees, waiving the waiting period for short term disability, making PTO policies more flexible, and many other ways to show appreciation for those workers who are helping to support an entire nation right now.