Workers sue OSHA over conditions at meatpacking plant

Workers sue OSHA over conditions at meatpacking plant
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Three meatpacking plant employees filed a lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Thursday, alleging the agency has left workers in danger.

The lawsuit accuses OSHA, a division of the Labor Department, of leaving these workers in hazardous conditions at their factory, run by Maid-Rite Specialty Foods, in Pennsylvania, The Washington Post reported.

It is based on a complaint the workers’ attorneys filed with OSHA in May claiming they were not given adequate protecting gear and that the factory did not impose social distancing. Maid-Rite produces beef, turkey, pork, chicken and veal products.

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The complaint also claimed the company failed to separate sick employees and failed to tell other employees about infections. It said the company offered bonuses to workers for coming to work, even while sick.

The lawsuit accuses OSHA of not adequately responding to the complaints.

OSHA did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

The agency has declined to impose a nationwide COVID-19 work safety standard, despite calls to do so from unions, Democrats and worker advocates.

In the absence of those standards, Virginia recently adopted statewide emergency workplace safety standards to deal with the coronavirus, making the state the first in the nation to implement such protection measures.