Meat Packing Plants : Work or Die?

No Unemployment if You Don’t Feel Safe Going Back in There

The other day I heard that the President had issued an order making meat processing plants essential and forcing them open. This is despite the ongoing news that any area with a meat processing plant is a hot zone for coronavirus. The number of workers in these plants is large. Huge percentages of the workers are testing positive, if they’re getting tested at all, driving the number of confirmed cases in their counties through the roof.

I believe that if I worked in one of those places, I’d be leery of going back in. The CDC issued guidelines for a safe workspace, but the federal government has only made them recommendations. The meat packing plant managers don’t have to implement any of them. Let’s add to this that the USDA rules about health and safety of those places has been rolled back. People stand shoulder to shoulder, with sharp knives as the assembly line speeds up. No masks, no distancing, no staggered start times, breaks, or lunch times.

Governors have issued statements that people who don’t want to go to work in these hotbeds of disease will not be getting unemployment. The basic understanding is, go to work and get sick, maybe die, or pass the disease on to your family and they die, or stay home and go hungry and maybe lose your home. People love their families. They don’t want the vulnerable to catch the coronavirus and perhaps die. They want to work and keep their families fed and keep roofs over their heads. This is the most blatant exercise of oligarchy that I’ve seen yet.

The reason the meat packing plants don’t want to put the CDC recommendations in place — it will cost money to implement. It will reduce production. It will cut into these billionaires’ hoards.

The government, local and national, is supporting the oligarchs. When I went to school, I learned that the government works for the citizens, not the other way around. Citizens need to take matters into their own hands if they feel uncomfortable with the way their company is or is not protecting worker health.

If you work for one of these cesspits of disease, walk off the job. All of you. Your communities should support you in this effort. Picket the plants. Legally discourage outsiders from coming in and taking your jobs. Set up Go Fund Me pages to help pay for groceries and rents. Get your union, if you have one, to kick in some cash to help. People outside of the area, donate to those Go Fund Me pages. Boycott meat from the companies that don’t help keep their workers safe. Do without meat or check your local ranchers for a buy direct link. I can go to to find a rancher near me who will sell directly. Check your state for ways to buy direct.

Everyone needs to remember in November which government officials were backing the oligarchs and which ones were working for you. Don’t let the oligarchs treat you like a slave. Don’t let your government representatives forget who they work for. You deserve better. You shouldn’t have to risk death to earn a living. It’s your choice, it always has been.



Retired military, old as dirt, tired of all the crap. This is me, speaking up about it.

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Lea Ecker

Retired military, old as dirt, tired of all the crap. This is me, speaking up about it.