The daily business briefing: September 14, 2020

Federal regulators recently fined two meat plants and demanded stronger worker protections six months after the facilities became early coronavirus hot spots, The Washington Post reported Sunday. The penalties against the Smithfield Foods plant in South Dakota and a JBS plant in Colorado, which were issued last week, totaled about $29,000. Critics, including workers and union leaders, said the fines were too small to give the companies any incentive to step up efforts to protect workers, and expressed outrage that the plants were only cited for three safety violations. Hundreds of other meat plants have not been fined at all. At least 42,534 meatpacking workers have tested positive for the coronavirus at 494 meat plants. At least 203 workers have died, according to the Food Environmental Reporting Network, a nonprofit investigative news organization. [The Washington Post]

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