Coronavirus

Labor courts close JBS slaughterhouse amid Covid-19 spike

jbs meat plant

Thanks to a surge of coronavirus cases in the town of São Miguel do Guaporé, in the northern state of Rondônia, labor courts have ordered the closure of an abattoir belonging to major meat company JBS, which is reportedly responsible for 60 percent of Covid-19 cases in the municipality.

The slaughterhouse is to remain close until JBS tests all of its employees for coronavirus, with the court order saying the BRL 300,000 need to carry out such screening would cause a negligible financial impact to the company, which has recently pledged to donate BRL 400 million to the Covid-19 effort in Brazil.

Around 30 slaughterhouse employees have confirmed cases of the disease, while another 40 have shown symptoms. Audio testimony sent from workers to the press indicates that the company is not enforcing necessary measures to avoid unnecessary gatherings in its facilities, nor has it put employees with suspected Covid-19 infections on leave. JBS denies these allegations.

Nevertheless, JBS shares (JBSS3) on the São Paulo stock exchange rose 5.27 percent today, amid general buoyancy regarding the meat-processing sector.

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