JBS faces lawsuit for compensation to infected workers

JBS faces lawsuit for compensation to infected workers
Photo: Arthur Maia de Carvalho

From Mato Grosso to North Carolina, the meat industry has been closely tied to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across the world. The Brazilian Report has shown how the meat industry helped spread the coronavirus through the interior of Brazil. The industry is once again back in the news after JBS — the largest meat-processing company in the world — faces demands from unions to compensate employees infected by the coronavirus in the line of duty. 

In a new civil lawsuit, unions want compensation of BRL 200,000 for every infected worker and BRL 100,000 for other workers exposed to the virus in contaminated plants.

According to the lawsuit, a JBS pork factory in the Dourados municipality (Mato Grosso do Sul) saw 1,075 of its 4,300 employees testing positive for the coronavirus. Union lawyers allege that JBS failed to provide sufficient protective equipment or sanitary conditions at the workplace, providing only half-hearted measures, while upping the pressure to increase productivity at the plant.

The lawsuit follows numerous controversies in the sector, as customers in China have canceled orders due to fear of sanitary conditions at Brazilian meat plants. Meanwhile, labor prosecutors across Brazil have filed dozens of motions to force companies to comply with industry safety standards, but these have met with little success.

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