essential workers


With Trump Executive Order, Are Meat and Poultry Plants a COVID-19 Ticking Time Bomb?

, Economist

On April 28, President Trump issued an executive order intended to direct slaughterhouses and meat and poultry processing plants to remain open as critical infrastructure. The order noted that these facilities should follow CDC guidelines to protect workers from COVID-19. However, the guidelines in the order were described as voluntary, and no enforcement mechanism yet exists to ensure that these measures are being taken. Conditions right now are so bad that the AFL-CIO, which represents the nation’s largest labor unions, announced Monday that it is suing the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration for not protecting American workers from COVID-19. We wanted to know how much worse this situation might get. Read more >

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Matthew Keeler/U.S. Army

Put Workers First in COVID Response

, senior energy analyst

As I often say to friends and colleagues, the issues we face as a society are complex and simply cannot be reduced to bumper sticker slogans. Sometimes, however, the reality is strikingly simply—and staring us right in the face. Read more >

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Kids, Families, and Food Workers Need a “HEROES Act.” Will Congress Deliver?

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Yesterday, House Democrats released the text of a new stimulus package: a blueprint for what could become the fourth major COVID-19 response bill passed by Congress. What did the bill get right, and when can we expect it to move? Read more >

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Photo courtesy Jim Horn/Flickr

As COVID-19 Reveals Our Food System’s Flaws, Congress Can Boost Protection Now—and Resilience for the Future

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

If we didn’t know it before—or had forgotten—the escalating pandemic and its widening economic ripple effects are hammering home the reality that our world is full of risk and uncertainty. Preparedness is paramount. Resilience is essential. And apart from the nation’s healthcare system, nowhere is this more apparent right now than when it comes to keeping ourselves fed, as food producers, workers, and consumers alike face mounting threats to their health and well-being.

Because the system wasn’t designed to protect them.

Read more >

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