Mark Lauritsen, head of the food processing, packing and manufacturing division of the United Food and Commercial Workers, said meatpacking plants will continue to produce less meat for grocery stores and restaurants during the pandemic. The union represents about 250,000 food processing and meatpacking workers across the U.S. and Canada.
He said plants will produce less as workers get sick and factories shut down or they will adapt the process to prevent further outbreaks through social distancing. Either way, he said, there’s decreased supply.
“During this time of Covid-19, we have to spread people out and if we spread people out, that means less production,” he said. “If we don’t do it, we’re just going to continue in this cycle of a plant running at half speed for two weeks and then having to close down for two weeks.”