Ranchers, labor union call for stronger Covid-19 protections for meatpacking workers

As Covid-19 spreads in meatpacking plants across the country, a number of groups representing ranchers and farmers have joined with a key labor union to call for stronger protections for meatpacking workers. The alliance comes as the tally of meat industry workers who have contracted the disease approaches 25,000, even as companies restrict information about outbreaks at their facilities. (No paywall)

Advocates slam Trump order to keep meatpacking plants open

Environmentalists, labor groups, and animal rights advocates on Tuesday condemned President Trump's planned executive order to keep meatpacking plants open, despite reported outbreaks of Covid-19 at more than 60 of these plants across the country.

Q&A: Jennifer E. Gaddis on school food, feminism and worker rights

In Jennifer E. Gaddis’s new book, The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools, school lunch is the framework for serious thinking about politics and people power. Gaddis makes the case that to reform school food, we need better working conditions and pay for cafeteria workers in addition to more nutritious ingredients. I asked Gaddis, an assistant professor of civil society and community studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to discuss the pillars of her research and how school food policy should move forward.(No paywall)

In blow to workers, labor board proposes redefining joint-employer standard

The National Labor Relations Board will publish a proposed rule Friday that would change its definition of a joint employer. The move would reverse an Obama-era decision that had made it easier to hold parent companies, such as restaurant chains, accountable for the labor violations of franchisees.

‘High-road’ employers also value sustainability, study finds

A new study from the Food Chain Workers Alliance and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United found that restaurants that have higher employment standards are also invested in sourcing food that meets a higher level of environmental and economic sustainability.

Farm labor contractor fined for ‘squalid conditions’

Future Ag Management, a farm labor contractor in Soledad, California, will be fined over $168,000 for failing to provide farmworkers with appropriate housing conditions. The fine will be levied by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Can your seafood be free of slave labor? New tool tries to help.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, known best for its red, yellow, and green sustainable seafood-rating scheme, is unveiling its first Seafood Slavery Risk Tool today. It’s a database designed to help corporate seafood buyers assess the risk of forced labor, human trafficking, and hazardous child labor in the seafood they purchase. (No paywall)

GAO says climate change will seriously cost U.S.

Climate change will come with a serious price tag, says a report by the Government Accountability Office, urging President Trump to take the phenomenon seriously. The study “says that different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country will be harmed in ways that are difficult to predict,” according to The New York Times.

Ben & Jerry’s signs major agreement to protect dairy workers

In a first for the dairy industry, the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has signed an agreement to eventually buy all of its milk from Vermont dairies that uphold rigorous standards for treatment and pay of employees. The standards, known as Milk with Dignity, were devised by the workers themselves and based on the Fair Food Program established by tomato workers in Florida under the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).