Brazil’s labour prosecutors attempt to close pork plant due to coronavirus outbreak

On 3 June, labour prosecutors sought to close a JBS pork plant in southern Brazil after another COVID-19 outbreak was reported.
calendar icon 4 June 2020
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In a document sent to Reuters, Brazilian labour prosecutors filed a petition with a local court demanding the closure of a JBS SA pork plant in Rio Grande do Sul due to a COVID-19 outbreak among plant workers. A decision is still pending.

The prosecutors brought the case to close the facility after JBS failed to stem outbreaks of the coronavirus in its production units.

According to evidence presented before the court, 21 out of 1,700 workers in that JBS factory have tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory disease, and two are hospitalised.

The plant in Ana Rech, a district belonging to the town of Caxias do Sul, remains open, a JBS spokeswoman said without elaborating.

The company declined to comment on ongoing lawsuits and reiterated it has adopted a strict health protocol against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labour prosecutors have claimed meat-packers became a hotspot for the novel coronavirus in Brazil.

In Rio Grande do Sul alone, there are 3,201 confirmed COVID-19 cases among meat plant workers at 26 plants, prosecutors said.

This equates to almost 35 percent of COVID-19 cases statewide, prosecutors said.

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