Perdue workers walk off production line in Georgia over coronavirus safety measures

SALISBURY, Md. — Several dozen Perdue Farms employees in Georgia walked off the production line Monday over concerns about working conditions and pay, according to local news outlets.

Approximately 50 employees at the Perdue Farm plant near Perry, Georgia, walked out March 23 saying they didn’t feel safe in the plant because of the coronavirus, according to WMAZ in Georgia.

Workers say they don’t feel safe working around others who could have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, according to WMAZ. They add that they feel Perdue isn’t doing enough to keep employees safe and isn’t sanitizing their workspaces. 

Employees of Perdue, which is based in Salisbury, Maryland, are also upset about their lack of pay, according to WMAZ. 

Perdue is the fourth-largest producer of chicken in the United States. The company operates food processing plants in several states including; Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

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In an emailed statement Tuesday, Perdue wrote the situation surrounding COVID-19 is “fluid.”

“We know that many are feeling anxious during these uncertain times, and we’re doing everything we can to take good care of our associates while continuing to produce safe and reliable food,” according to the statement. 

Perdue outlined several steps it has taken to help keep its worker safe during the novel coronavirus threat:

  • All facilities are being sanitized every 24 hours.
  • Increased cleaning protocols in all offices and facilities.
  • All workers have up to four weeks of paid time off and are encouraged to use it if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
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