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JBS vows legal action to reopen poultry plant in Brazil

Brazilian meat packing giant JBS SA will seek legal remedies after a local labour authority ordered the company to close a poultry plant in Santa Catarina after a COVID-19 outbreak was reported.

19 May 2020, at 9:11am

According to reporting in Reuters, JBS announced the legal action on 18 May. The plant, located in the town of Ipumirim, Santa Catarina, exploys more than 1,400 people and processes an estimated 135,000 chickens per day.

A separate statement from the labour prosecutor’s office reports that the plant was closed after an inspection from labour authorities under the Economy Ministry.

The inspection "found serious irregularities, mainly related to the absence of safe distancing between workers on the production line and the lack of oversight measures to control the spread of the virus," the prosecutor's statement said.

JBS called the closure order unjustified, citing strict prevention protocols against the spread of the coronavirus at all its units.

According to labour authorities responsible for the inspection, 86 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at that JBS plant, representing almost 5 percent of the estimated 1,500 workers there.

The cases registered at the facility represent almost 2 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Santa Catarina state and 14 percent in that region, authorities said.

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