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Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska meatpacking workers implore Legislature for more coronavirus safeguards

Posted by Tony Vargas · August 07, 2020

Nebraska’s meatpacking plants have been hot spots for infections, with about 5,000 plant workers becoming infected, or about one-fifth of the cases in the entire state. The plants are primarily staffed by Latinos, along with workers from other immigrant and refugee groups. Overall, Hispanics account for 60% of all coronavirus cases in the state, and legislators were told that Nebraska leads the nation in the per capita death rate for Hispanics from COVID-19.

“If you are somebody who looks like me, this is a terrible state to be in during the pandemic. It’s just ridiculous,” said Vargas, whose parents emigrated from Peru.

The senator and his supporters urged the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee to quickly advance the proposal and enact the safeguards before the session ends on Thursday.

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