It is not known how many production workers received the message, but Denver7 confirmed to several employees that they had been told not to come on Saturday.
The leave comes after a walkout on Friday linked to a wage dispute with JBS. Employees who left told reporters that they were looking for more wages because their work had become more dangerous due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were several outbreaks at the plant and six employees died from the disease.
“We want fair wages. We are working there, ”said an employee who asked to remain anonymous. “We were afraid to come to work, but they still run the chain even if we didn’t have enough people. ”
JBS acknowledged the departure in a statement saying “yesterday our Greeley beef plant had a brief work stoppage which was resolved without incident”. The company did not mention calls for employees to stay home on Saturday.
“JBS USA has reached an agreement to raise wages at all of our beef plants in the United States,” the statement said. “However, the local union refused to make the same offer of an hourly wage increase to members of our Greeley team, which increases base wages to $ 18 an hour, with rates higher by almost 25 $ per hour. ”
The departure comes amid contractual negotiations with United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 7, the union representing JBS workers in Greeley. The union said in a statement that it was not involved in the workers’ demonstration because such action would violate current agreements.
“Local 7 was not involved and continues to collect the facts about what happened,” said the UFCW statement. The union also said in the statement that JBS “refuses to discuss the necessary security improvements nor to engage in discussions regarding the rising costs of health care in these negotiations”.
A meeting is scheduled for Sunday morning at the union to discuss developments and expectations for the future.