GREELEY, Colo. — Workers at the Greeley JBS meatpacking plant shut down amid the COVID-19 outbreak will see a sizable jump in their pay, union leaders announced Sunday.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced an agreement with JBS to increase wages for workers by $4 per hour and further strengthen safety measures for employees, a news release read.
The wage increase will begin April 20 and last through May 30. This will be in addition to the previously announced $600 bonus JBS agreed to pay its employees, including the 2,500 workers at Greeley.
Other worker benefits announced as part of the agreement include:
- JBS employees will have access to enhanced personal protection equipment like masks, gloves, and face shields.
- JBS will be installing plexiglass shields in areas of plants where social distancing is not possible.
- Expanded cafeterias and breakrooms in JBS plants will allow workers to better practice social distancing.
- Enhanced cleaning in common areas and plants will further strengthen safety measures.
The city’s largest employer was shut down April 10 for two weeks to test workers and sanitize the plant following two deaths from the novel coronavirus. In its statement at the time, JBS said it would pay employees during the closure, and in prior remarks, the company said it would pay employees testing positive for the virus.
The situation at the plant had garnered attention from Colorado’s governor and the White House, where Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump both spoke about the outbreak at the plant during an April 10 briefing.
JBS is the world's largest meat processing company and based in Brazil.