An estimated 3 million people work on farms in the United States every year to raise and harvest the nation’s produce. The meat and poultry industry is estimated to employ another half million. Working conditions in both industries tend to be harsh, and many workers have limited access to health care to begin with. With the coronavirus pandemic, these industries are seeing outbreaks. Civil Eats reporter Gosia Wozniacka has been covering working conditions in the nation’s food supply chain and how workers have been affected by the pandemic. Employer’s responses to outbreaks have varied widely, Wozniacka reports.
“I think there’s been a variety of responses, everything from employers who are very diligent and who have started training their workers, distributed masks, who have spaced out their workers in the field so that they’re not so close together when they’re working. There’s employers who have not even talked to their workers about COVID-19, employers who refuse to space workers farther apart. It’s really quite a wide variety.”Gosia Wozniacka
A segment from our radio show, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM in San Francisco.