Workers Cheered Upon Return to South Dakota Pork Plant

Read full article

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Employees at a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota where a coronavirus outbreak infected more than 800 people were greeted at work May 20 with thank you signs, cheers and waves from about a dozen area residents.

“They’re putting their health at risk just like the hospital workers are to continue on with this work, so I hope they feel appreciated,” said Becky Olson, a Sioux Falls resident who held a sign outside Smithfield’s entrance.

The plant has instructed many workers to return to work this week as it looks to scale up operations by the end of the month. Masked employees streamed into the factory entrance as trucks carrying pigs rumbled past.

The reopening comes after President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on April 28 to classify meat processing plants as critical infrastructure. With the signing, he intended to stave off a shortage of meat on supermarket shelves as supply chains had hit what he called a “road block.”

Read full article Share on twitter