Letter to the Editor: Safe Line Speeds Act will protect workers

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., Sen. Christopher Coons and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.:

I urge you to pass the Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act (House Resolution 7521/Senate 4338) as part of a COVID-19-relief package immediately.

This bill will better protect slaughterhouse workers, animals and consumers from the dangers posed by higher-speed, privatized slaughter systems.

Over the past several months, slaughterhouses have become COVID-19 hot spots due to a lack of personal protective gear and other preventive measures that meat corporations failed to give their workers.

Further, in April, amidst COVID-19 outbreaks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a number of waivers for poultry plants to operate their speed lines in excess of regulatory caps. By September 2020, more than 42,000 slaughterhouse and meatpacking workers tested positive and at least 200 workers and four inspectors died from COVID-19.

The passing of this important bill would stop these dangerous systems from operating during a time when workers are even more vulnerable to increased line speeds during COVID-19.

Delawareans, I ask you to please call our federal legislators and urge them to pass the Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act as part of a COVID-19-relief package immediately.

Kim June
Dover