HIGH RIVER (660 NEWS) – Two of Alberta’s largest meat-packing plants are opening vaccination clinics Thursday.
The Cargill plant near High River and JBS Canada in Brooks will start administering vaccines as a part of the province’s plan to inoculate about 15,000 plant workers.
Both facilities were hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks last year, Cargill was the location of the biggest outbreak in the country. The clinic there was scheduled to be up and running for last week, but a shortage of vaccines resulted in a delay.
UFCW 401 President Thomas Hesse says he expects most workers to get the shot.
“Our polling reveals that 70-80 per cent of the members are relatively comfortable with it, and 20-25 per cent are feeling some discomfort,” Hesse said.
“The overwhelming majority of our members want early access to a safe vaccine. That’s underscored by the fact that they don’t feel government, policymakers, and employers have kept them safe.”
The last year of fighting for worker safety has been like no other.
Many of our members have faced risks every day coming to work to provide services and products on which the public has relied.
— UFCW LOCAL 401 (@ufcw401) April 28, 2021
Cargill and its roughly 2,000 workers are responsible for nearly a third of all of Canada’s beef production. When combined with JBS’s output, it accounts for almost 70 per cent of all beef processing in the country.