JBS Employees Eligible For A $100 Bonus If They Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
This past spring, in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the JBS meatpacking plant in Hyrum had an outbreak of nearly 300 coronavirus cases among employees. In response to the outbreak, many workers and community members protested.
“They were doing some things to try to protect the people, but with so many people that work there, we work in a very small space, it's hard to stay distant,” said a woman who works at the JBS plant in Hyrum and who asked not to be identified in this story because of fear of retaliation from her employer.
The employees protesting wanted the company to shut down due to the spike of positive cases. Many were afraid to go to work, worrying they would catch the virus and get their loved ones sick.
“My mom is already old, I was scared for her, for me infecting her,” said the same employee.
Although the peak of cases was in May and June of last year and the company began conducting regular tests and allowing high-risk employees to stay home, those working at the plant continue to be at risk for COVID-19 because of close proximity and exposure to others.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed, JBS company officials have announced employees who are vaccinated will receive a $100 incentive.
According to a Bloomberg article, an internal company survey showed that 60-90% of JBS employees across all of the company’s plants were willing to receive a vaccine, and with the bonus, company officials expect the number to be closer to 90%. The hope is a high percentage of vaccinations will lead to fewer outbreaks and decrease the risk of illness for employees.
Some JBS employees who work in Hyrum and meet the state requirements of risk have already begun receiving the vaccine. Gov. Spencer Cox announced on Thursday that all Utahns age 16 and older, no matter the person’s health history, insurance status or legal status, will be eligible to sign up for a vaccine on Wednesday. Spanish language interpretation will be available at vaccine sites as well.
Despite repeated attempts for comment, UPR was unable to connect with a local JBS representative who was authorized to speak for this story.
For more information about scheduling a vaccine appointment, go here or here.