Trump Orders Meat Packing Plants to Stay Open

Mish

President invokes Defense Production Act to keep plants open amid coronavirus pandemic.

The absurdities of this administration never end. 

Please consider  Trump Takes Executive Action to Keep Meat-Processing Plants Open.

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday paving the way for meat-processing plants remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, as hundreds of workers have fallen ill and concerns mount about food-supply shortages. The president invoked the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law, to keep the facilities open, designating the plants as critical infrastructure under the law. 

The move is expected to relieve pressure on meatpackers and farmers, who have struggled with food-supply upheavals following pressure from local and state officials to close plants. It is likely to draw fire from unions and worker advocates, who have said such closures are a necessary step to stem the virus’s spread through communities.

More than a dozen major meatpacking plants in recent weeks have closed down following outbreaks among employees, and other workers choosing to stay home rather than risk infection.

Four Questions 

  1. OK, Trump can force the plants to stay "open", but open for what? 
  2. Can Trump send in qualified workers to run the plants?
  3. Can Trump force the existing workers to show up?
  4. If not, will Trump show up himself and do the work?

Stuart Appelbaum president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, made this comment: “We only wish that this administration cared as much about the lives of working people as it does about meat, pork and poultry products.” 

Everybody is in fear of their lives here,” said Lakesha Bailey, a Tyson worker. She has been calling in absent since April 19.

Two Bonus Questions

  1. Rather than thumping his chest and making demands on workers, wouldn't a softer approach been better? 
  2. How many workers will this piss off enough to cause them to vote Democratic?

Food Rotting in the Fields But Shortages in the Stores

For further discussion, please see Food Rotting in the Fields But Shortages in the Stores.

Mish

Comments (48)
No. 1-22
Sechel
Sechel

There are a couple reasons why Trump might do this.

  1. It meets the flailing test. It's clearly an action and a visible one. I grant you its rudderless but many won't figure that out
  2. It allows meat processors to stay in business with shielded immunity from workers. They wanted to stay open. Now workers have can't sue if they get sick or die.

The pigs have already been euthanized. It doesn't put meat on the shelves .The damage was done. If there was an action to be taken such as creating a safer work environment and manning the plants with troops the time for that is past. From the Reuters story I posted earlier which is not behind a paywall.

The order was little consolation for farmers such as Henry Moore of Clinton, North Carolina, who in recent weeks aborted thousands of unborn piglets and euthanized newly born because of closures of packing plants.

“At this point, honestly, it’s a little too late,” Moore said. “There’s millions and

The order is designed in part to give companies legal cover with more liability protection in case employees catch the virus as a result of having to go to work. It's a pattern. Trump is not pro-worker. But he is very pro-owner.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Certainly starvation isn't a better option, and it is also true that the farmers wouldn't have been happy to have had to slaughter and bury their animals for lack of packing plants. I'm not sure there really is a good solution, unfortunately. Hopefully they can continue to find new ways to improve worker safety, while also assuring a supply of food.

Perhaps Trump could assign the Army Corps of Engineers to try to engineer some new designs to make the plants safer?

tokidoki
tokidoki

"If not, will Trump show up himself and do the work?"

ROFL. He just might.

At the end though, what can he do if no one shows up? Send in the National Guards?
They can either:

  1. Do the butchering.
  2. Start rounding up the workers.

There's is going to be a sequel to Sinclair's The Jungle.

Zardoz
Zardoz

What could possibly go wrong? I guess we're gonna see. Maybe nothing, maybe mass death. The die is cast!

az_dirt
az_dirt

Just remember, it's OK with Trump if you die as long as he looks good. Never forget that.

Felix_Mish
Felix_Mish

If there are inordinate numbers of people with C19 in meat packing plants, what does that say about the safety of the product? On the other hand, food packing plants should be geared up for this sort of thing already, what with salmonella and such.

On the other, other hand, that Trump says what he says could be to nudge Joe Public into saying, "Oh, I guess I don't need to hoard meat, because the cops will make sure there's plenty to go around." Of course, that strategy relies on the media reacting with "Trump is Hitler" and/or "Trump is an idiot! There is plenty of meat, see?" Rather than going with a "Oh my God, Trump knows the score. Stock up on meat. Now!" reaction.

One thing you can say about C19: It's great theater.

Dubronik
Dubronik

Dump the Trump

stillCJ
stillCJ

Editor

I have noticed for some time now that no matter what Trump does, either way, his opponents will say it is the wrong thing, and Mish will also. Maybe Mish could overcome his TDS for a minute and write about something like this:

gregggg
gregggg

Panic time, just like when Nixon closed the gold window. Remember wage and price controls? It didn't work either.

palmer808
palmer808

Wake me up when the wheat, corn and rice supply is disrupted...

Yawning.......

Red neck sister effers can't live without their meats...

Live in a third world Nancy pants.

Big bowl of grains and if the universe is smiling on you, maybe a dinky piece of protein too.

Suck it up you sissy fied posers
🤡

palmer808
palmer808

Hey, all you trumptards here....

Get ready for European SOCIALISM!

Why is it happening over there across the pond?

Because it works!

You exclusive red neck haters!

Inclusiveness is where it's at!

Get with it or we'll have a guillotine with your name on it.

I have spoken.

Sechel
Sechel

Finally pulled up the WSJ article. Sounds like they will tell the company to let older workers stay home and bring everyone else in and not much else. Sounds more like Tyson and Smithfield lobbied for legal protection and got it. I see very little else on a plan to protect the workers. Remember the plants closed because Covid-19 infections were out of control.

Sechel
Sechel

Am I the only one that laments the extinction of the neighborhood butcher? I don't trust the pre-packaged cuts of meat now being sold in the supermarket. I really do miss seeing an actual butcher.

WildBull
WildBull

Given the restrictions we are living under, keeping the packing plants open is only prudent. Lack of TP is annoying, but let the hoarders clear the supermarkets of food, and there will be chaos.

Further, the MSM lies. When the worker that was ill with C19 tested positive, 200 others tested positive also. Apparently, all of them were well enough to work. Testing positive does not mean being ill, yet, we are given to believe that getting it is a death sentence. We are being subjected to a disinformation campaign that would make Josef Goebbels proud.

If you are under 60 with no co-morbidity, your risk of death is very small. Don't let that secret out to the general public. The Sheeple might get restless.

RonJ
RonJ

“We only wish that this administration cared as much about the lives of working people as it does about meat, pork and poultry products.”

Working people need to eat.

That's why the grocery stores are still open.

WildBull
WildBull

Sweden has it right. Restrict enough to keep the hospitals from being overrun and git er done.

Sechel
Sechel

trump ordered the meat plants open but made the safety guidelines 'optional'

njbr
njbr

I like the phase "well enough to work" used by Wild Bull for people in a food plant. This excludes people leaking blood with ebola or pus from open sores. Everyone else--get to work! If you can stand, get to work!

I'm sorry that you slept during health class.

And look out for sex partners that are "well enough for sex" too. There is a long history of unfortunate choices in that matter, too...

wootendw
wootendw

According to Reason magazine, Trump's move does not force plants to re-open; it requires them to put federal contracts at highest priority.

Jdog1
Jdog1

You forgot one option.

  1. The Unions being democrats, are creating a problem where none exists as a political ploy to create more problems for Trump at the expense and suffering of the American people.....
Felix_Mish
Felix_Mish

In case you prefer good comment behavior, you can click on the triple dot and select "Flag this as abuse". Now, I wonder what that flag does to the comment.

Ah. It appears a little triangle appears in the northeast corner of the comment. On your view. Others won't see the triangle.

Sechel
Sechel

Is meat really a national security issue? Is it more important than toilet paper? Trump didn't enact the defense production act for that.

In the short run people can eat plant based food, fish etc. There are many sources of protein. Trump was just kissing the baby here.


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