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ACLU of Nebraska Issues Statement on New Meatpacking Report

ACLU of Nebraska Interim Legal Director Rose Godinez speaks before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis with her parents behind her, both retired meatpacking plant workers.

(KFOR NEWS  May 13, 2022)    On Thursday, the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis issued a new report showing that major meatpacking companies worked closely with the federal government at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid oversight, to force workers to continue working in dangerous conditions, and to shield themselves from legal liability.

The report affirms concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska related to companies and government officials failing to take necessary steps to protect meatpacking plant workers.

Rose Godinez, legal and policy counsel for the ACLU of Nebraska, testified on those concerns before the subcommittee last year.

She issued the following statement in response to today’s report. 

The close coordination and the willful disregard for workers’ safety described in this report should concern us all. Companies put profits over workers’ lives as the pandemic hit their workers harder than any other industry in Nebraska and agency officials let it happen. Nebraskans who are immigrants and Nebraskans of color then bore the brunt of the tragic human cost of those decisions. I hope this accountability effort will lead to policies and practices that better shield workers in the future and that it inspires Nebraskans to ask what more can be done to protect the vulnerable workers who keep our families fed.

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