Wendell Young IV, president of United Food and Commercial worker Local 1776, said about 400 workers have returned to work at the JBS beef plant in Souderton, Pa. at the factory. A JBS beef plant in Cactus, Texas, canceled the work of many employees scheduled for one of their shifts on Wednesday, according to a Facebook post for workers.
Mr Young added that the company had told the union that the factory would be operating essentially as usual on Thursday, although worker start times would be delayed by several hours.
JBS has not said whether it has paid the attackers and did not return a request for comment.
The disruption comes at a time when prices for beef as well as chicken and pork have skyrocketed. Meatpacking plants are struggling to meet high demand, largely due to labor shortages as restaurants and other industries have struggled with the pandemic.
“We had this logjam happening at the slaughterhouse, and it happened when demand, both domestic and export, was very strong,” said Don Close, senior analyst for animal protein at RaboResearch. especially.
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In recent months, restaurants that have reopened have begun ordering beef, pork and poultry again and people have begun to gather and grill outside as vaccination levels rise and the weather become warmer. The surge in demand, combined with recruitment challenges, has sent wholesale beef prices up 49 percent since mid-March and cut steak prices skyrocketing 64 percent, according to the Agriculture Department.
“Everybody wakes up to the reality that there isn’t enough product around us,” said Altin Kalo, chief economist at Steiner Consulting Group, which analyzes and forecasts the protein industry.
Mark Lauritsen, international vice president overseeing meat packaging for the food workers union, says that many meatpacking plants in the United States are already about 10 to 20 percent below full staffing but the situation The situation is gradually improving as unions negotiate salary increases with companies like JBS.