UPDATE: After postponing testing its employees for COVID-19 on Sunday, JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley has canceled its testing altogether until further notice.
In a press conference Monday, Gov. Jared Polis said the plant will remain closed indefinitely.
GREELEY, Colo. — Testing for employees of the closed JBS meatpacking plant is set to begin Sunday. It comes after two people have died, and dozens of people have tested positive at the plant for coronavirus.
But now union representatives for workers at the plant are speaking out about confusion over who will be tested.
"I don't believe the company's done any outreach to them explaining the process," said Kim Cordova, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 Union President on Saturday. "I would be surprised if very many people even show up tomorrow. It's supposed to snow. It's also Easter."
JBS said in a press release on Friday that it is investing one million dollars in testing for workers and will also clean and sterilize the plant before its reopening set for Tuesday. But according to the notice sent to workers, only employees present on April 9 and 10 will be tested by the company. All other employees must get tested on their own and bring documentation to the company before they are allowed to return.
"It is hard to imagine a less serious testing program than one which excludes, on its terms, potentially a thousand or more employees," lamented union representatives in a letter to Governor Polis, explaining that "between 800 and 1,000 employees have been calling in sick on a daily basis."
Starting Sunday, the JBS managers and medical employees will test individuals from different sections of the company over three days. The company is still set to reopen on Tuesday.