meatpacking plants

Lawsuits filed by Tyson workers over COVID-19 still on hold

BY: - July 23, 2021

Before he died of COVID-19 last year, Arthur Scott of Waterloo worked in a Tyson Foods plant that manufactures dog treats. Even so, Tyson claims it cannot be sued in state court for contributing to Scott’s death because the company was trying to secure the nation’s food supply and critical infrastructure when it kept the […]

Grassley co-sponsors bill to make meat, poultry industry more accountable

BY: - June 14, 2021

When Jess Peterson of the United States Cattlemen’s Association was looking back at how long it has taken to get legislation on the meatpacking industry introduced, he was amazed. In 1920, Congress had been concerned about the consolidation of power among meatpackers. At the dawn of the Warren Harding administration, there were five big packers, […]

Reynolds claims state ensured pandemic safety at meatpacking plants

BY: - May 27, 2021

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds told a national television audience on Wednesday that Iowa had met the challenge of providing a “safe environment” for meatpacking-plant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reynolds made her remarks on FOX News with conservative commentator Sean Hannity presiding over a gathering of Republican governors who were there to discuss how their […]

Iowa lawsuits against Tyson on hold as company faces potential SEC probe

BY: - March 4, 2021

Tyson Foods is facing new legal challenges in court, but the company is making headway in attempting to move wrongful-death cases tied to the pandemic from state court to federal court. The meat and poultry giant has been hit with several lawsuits from the families of Iowa workers who died after allegedly contracting the coronavirus […]


Meatpacking plants have been deadly COVID-19 hot spots – but policies that encourage workers to show up sick are legal

BY: - February 28, 2021

Working in meatpacking plants has always been dangerous. A recent study shows that it became deadlier in the era of COVID-19, even as company profits soared. This analysis, published in December 2020, estimates that 6%-8% of all COVID-19 cases and 3%-4% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. through July 21, 2020, were tied to meat […]

Tyson hires former AG Eric Holder to investigate claims of betting on worker infections

BY: - November 19, 2020

Tyson Foods’ CEO announced Thursday he has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to lead an “independent investigation” into a lawsuit’s claims that managers in the company’s Waterloo plant placed bets on the number of workers who would contract COVID-19. The claims of a betting pool at the food giant’s Waterloo plant, first reported […]


Where will Iowa’s economic recovery leave workers?

BY: - September 7, 2020

The coronavirus has changed the way we work, in many cases forever. The pandemic has also brought into sharp focus the powerless state of workers here in Iowa and the employer-driven policies that intentionally keep it that way. State policymakers are crafting strategies now that will shape Iowa’s economic future and may further define the […]


Rural America is more vulnerable to COVID-19 than cities are, and it’s starting to show

BY: - June 24, 2020

Rural areas seemed immune as the coronavirus spread through cities earlier this year. Few rural cases were reported, and attention focused on the surge of illnesses and deaths in the big metro areas. But that false sense of safety is now falling apart as infection rates explode in rural areas across the country. Of the […]

Businesses not required to report major virus outbreaks, IDPH says

BY: - May 28, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday that there had been a COVID-19 outbreak among workers at the Tyson Foods plant in Storm Lake, touching off another round of questions about the state’s reporting of business outbreaks. IDPH Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter said 555 of the plant’s 2,017 employees ꟷ more than 27%  ꟷ […]


Coronavirus secrecy erodes the public’s confidence

BY: - May 12, 2020

The relationship between government and the governed is a delicate arrangement, even in the best of times. Government wants us to pay our taxes. It wants us to obey its laws and directives. Citizens, in turn, expect certain things from government, things like good schools, parks, law enforcement and protection of the public health and […]

Reynolds, Trump predict meatpackers ‘fully back up’ in 10 days or less

BY: - May 6, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday, during a meeting at the White House, that meatpacking plants would be “fully back up” within a week to 10 days. “Maybe sooner,” Trump said. Reynolds said South Dakota plants are coming back on board “and we’ll have most of our facilities up and going […]

At least 1,653 Iowa meatpacking employees test positive for COVID-19

BY: - May 5, 2020

Iowa is known for its agriculture and meat production, but workers in those industries are now facing some of the highest positive rates of COVID-19 as the state releases data of workplaces where outbreaks are occurring. On Tuesday, Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, reported the names of five businesses […]