Food giants across North America are offering staff working at its meat plants more money as their already-grueling jobs become even more critical during the coronavirus crisis.
Cargill Inc., the world’s largest agricultural commodities trader, spam-maker
That’s a stark turnaround for an industry that rarely offers even paid sick leave for plant employees. But as shoppers stock up on meat and prepare to stay home to weather the pandemic, and possible disruptions to immigrant worker visas loom, meat giants are trying to keep their factories running.
Cargill, the third-largest U.S. beef packer, is paying an additional $2 an hour for employees that complete all their weekly shifts as well as a $500 bonus to the ones that work all their schedules through May 3. It’s also offering paid leave for 2 weeks for employees affected by the coronavirus through March 31.
Hormel will spend more than $4 million on
Sales of Hormel’s Spam increased as much as 37% in the four weeks ended March 8, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence
Maple Leaf will be providing hourly staff with an C$80 ($55) per week additional support payment in addition to regular overtime and pay, it said Monday in a
Meat demand has soared since the outbreak, forcing many food giants to shift their production processes to supply grocery stores instead of restaurants. At the same time, there are concerns about the ability of immigrant workers to get visas as U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down on border crossings.
(Updates with Cargill program in fourth paragraph.)
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Pratish Narayanan, Patrick McKiernan
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