Mullery introduces meatpacking and food processing worker protection legislation

HARRISBURG, Sept. 16 – As part of his ongoing efforts to protect essential workers as Pennsylvania continues fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, this week introduced legislation that would protect meatpacking and food processing workers.

“We have known from the start of the pandemic there are myriad dangerous issues that continue to impact the health and safety of these critical workers,” Mullery said. “My bill would ensure that the workers who process and package our food are protected, which in turns protects all of us who purchase those goods at the supermarket.”

The legislation would require meatpacking and food processing employers to provide adequate training, paid sick time and access to health care in the event of a workplace injury. The bill would also create workplace health and safety committees at each facility and create industry-specific pandemic protocols for future public health emergencies.

Mullery added, “These workers deserve basic job protections. To go without them means our food supply would plummet and our state economy would suffer.”

House Bill 1874 is currently awaiting committee assignment for further consideration.