The Sickest of COVID-19 Stories
If it's true, there's no way to describe this other than sick.
A new wrongful-death lawsuit filed against Tyson Foods alleges that the food processor forced employees to report to work, and managers bet on how many would get COVID-19.
According to a story from the Iowa Capitol Dispatch website, the family of the late Isidro Fernandez is suing over his death. They are claiming that his death was caused by unsafe conditions at Tyson's Waterloo, Iowa meatpacking plant. Fernandez was only 20-year-old, certainly not at an age where you would expect one to die from COVID-19. He passed away of the coronavirus in the spring. And, if that's not enough, at least five employees at that plant have died of the virus, and more than one-third of its workforce has tested positive.
But the sickest part of the accusation is that plant manager Tom Hart organized a cash buy-in among managers, where they'd guess how many workers would fall ill, and the closest guess would win the pot. Say what?
Tyson Foods’ president and chief executive officer, Dean Banks, said: “We have suspended, without pay, the individuals allegedly involved and have retained the law firm Covington & Burling LLP to conduct an independent investigation led by former Attorney General Eric Holder. If these claims are confirmed, we’ll take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behavior from our company.
“Our top priority is and remains the health and safety of our team members.”
The suit also details some allegedly deplorable working conditions, with managers chastising workers over their fears, but avoiding the plant floor themselves.
The Capitol Dispatch article goes on to say that the Waterloo facility is Tyson’s largest pork plant in the United States. The facility employs approximately 2,800 workers who process approximately 19,500 hogs per day.