Brazil’s labour prosecutors sue JBS to test plant workers for COVID-19

Brazilian labour prosecutors have sued JBS SA to ensure the removal of workers at one of its poultry processing plants.
calendar icon 26 August 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

Reuters reports that the suit asks the company to assess the workers’ health and test them for COVID-19.

The request comes as JBS's Montenegro plant in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul reported 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are another 301 suspected cases at that facility, where one worker has died from COVID-19 complications, the labour prosecutors said.

The 337 workers with confirmed and suspected cases began exhibiting symptoms between 14 July and 14 August, the prosecutors said, emphasising "the gravity of the situation at the plant."

JBS told Reuters it has not been formally notified of the lawsuit.

The federal prosecutors based in Rio Grande do Sul said the suit was the seventh they had filed against JBS since the pandemic started.

The prosecutors began investigating working conditions at the Montenegro plant on 3 April, according to the statement.

JBS has said repeatedly it abides with federal rules passed in June governing factories operating amid the pandemic and also follows advice from renowned health institutions to prevent outbreaks at its meat plants.

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