4 more employees at Maple Leaf plant in Brandon test positive for COVID-19: union

By | August 7, 2020

There are four more workers at the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon, Man., who have COVID-19, the union that represents workers says.

A total of eight workers have now tested positive at the pork processing facility in southwestern Manitoba in recent days, a memo to workers from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 832 said Thursday.

The four new cases come after the union announced four previous cases over the past several days.

The first employee who tested positive started feeling sick while at work on July 28 and hasn’t been to work since, the union said earlier this week. More than 70 other staff members who may have been exposed went into self-isolation at home after that worker fell sick.

On Thursday, the UFCW announced three cases.

None of the initial four cases are among workers on the production line.

It’s unclear whether the new cases announced Friday are in workers who were on the production line.

The UFCW represents nearly 2,000 workers at the facility in Brandon, a small city about 200 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

The union and Manitoba opposition parties are calling on Maple Leaf to shut down operations at the plant until Aug. 10 at the earliest, pending additional information on any outstanding COVID-19 tests.

Maple Leaf told CBC News in a statement Thursday it didn’t plan to halt operations.

The company has notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the union and its employees of the positive tests, the statement said.

One other employee, a security guard at the plant, tested positive for COVID-19 in May.

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