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Smithfield Foods closes plants in Wisconsin, Missouri

Smithfield Foods will temporarily close its plants in Cudahy, Wisconsin and Martin City, Missouri because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 9, 2020 file photo employees and family members protest outside a Smithfield Foods processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. The plant has had an outbreak of coronavirus cases according to Gov. Kristi Noem. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves File)

CUDAHY, Wis. — Smithfield Foods will temporarily close its plants in Cudahy, Wisconsin and Martin City, Missouri because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The plant near Milwaukee will be closed for two weeks while the facility in Missouri is closed indefinitely. The Missouri plant receives raw material from the company's Sioux Falls, South Dakota facility, which is also closed.

Smithfield Foods has reported 518 infections in employees in Sioux Falls and another 126 in people connected to them.

Smithfield said a small number of employees at the Wisconsin and Missouri plants have tested positive for COVID-19.

The company is based in Smithfield, Virginia and employs over 1,000 workers at the Cudahy plant.

John Eiden, president of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 1473, raised concerns that the company wasn’t doing enough to protect workers in a letter to Smithfield’s human resources department, the Journal Sentinel reported.

The March 26 letter said two employees have tested positive for coronavirus, but not all union members were informed of the second case.

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