New map shows which states are vaccinating food workers

As the Covid-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, the workers who pick, pack, process, sell, and serve our food have been placed in a range of vaccination priority groups. With FERN's new map, you can search to see where these workers are currently eligible to be vaccinated and, where they're not, when they will become eligible. (No paywall)

Eskin appointed to No. 2 food safety post at USDA

Sandra Eskin, director of food safety for the Pew Charitable Trusts, was appointed deputy undersecretary for food safety, announced the USDA on Tuesday.

Companion bills would prevent faster line speeds

The USDA would be barred from allowing faster line speeds at hog and poultry slaughter plants during the pandemic under companion bills filed in the House and Senate on Thursday. Sponsors said the legislation would protect worker safety.

House committee to investigate meatpacking plant outbreaks

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis launched an investigation Monday into the spread of Covid-19 at meatpacking plants during the course of the pandemic. The committee sent letters to the country's top meatpackers — JBS, Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods — as well as to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requesting scores of information on the entities' management of the spread of the virus among meatpacking workers, with a response deadline of Feb. 15.(No paywall)

As the pandemic exposes low wages and unsafe conditions at food-distribution centers, workers are striking

On January 23, after a tense, week-long strike led by Teamsters Local 202, 1,400 employees of New York City’s Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market—the world’s largest wholesale produce market—reached an agreement with management that includes the biggest raise Local 202 has ever won through bargaining. The victory was the latest in a series of actions by the Teamsters, as the pandemic has ignited long-simmering labor disputes at food-distribution centers across the country.(No paywall)

OSHA strengthens workplace guidelines against Covid-19

The Labor Department, in issuing stronger worker-safety guidelines  called on employers to conduct a hazard analysis and implement measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus on the job. The recommendations include the use of face masks and reconfiguring work spaces so workers are at least six feet apart.

With new Covid plan, Biden calls for OSHA to update workplace safety protections

The nation's top workplace safety enforcer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will explore issuing enforceable workplace safety standards to protect workers from the spread of Covid-19 as part of President Joe Biden's new pandemic strategy. Labor advocates and congressional Democrats have pushed for enforceable standards for the duration of the pandemic, arguing that the existing voluntary guidelines for employers don't go far enough to protect workers.

First 100 days: Advocates say Biden should act quickly to boost workplace safety

As a candidate, President-elect Joe Biden ripped into the Trump administration’s handling of workplace inspections during the Covid-19 pandemic. And he endorsed a range of policies that would aid food system workers, from raising raising frontline worker wages to  releasing enforceable workplace standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Now, within his first 100 days in office, Biden should make good on his promises, workplace advocates say. (No paywall)

Tyson Foods fires seven in Covid betting pool

Tyson Foods said on Wednesday that it had fired seven management employees at its hog slaughter plant in Waterloo, Iowa, following allegations that plant manager Tom Hart had organized a betting pool over how many of the plant's employees would become ill with Covid-19.

Tyson orders investigation of ‘betting on Covid’ allegations

Former attorney general Eric Holder will lead an independent investigation into allegations that managers of a Tyson Foods hog plant in Waterloo, Iowa, ran a betting pool on how many employees would become ill with Covid-19, said the meat processor on Thursday.