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South Dakota packing plant accused of unsafe, unsanitary practices

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.  — Workers at the Smithfield Meat Packing Plant in Sioux Falls say they are facing unsafe and unsanitary conditions. According to Local Processing and Packing Union President B.J. Motley, the issues began with employee resignations.

He says management hasn’t adjusted quota expectations to match the reduced workforce. That means six workers are doing the job of 12 on the processing line. According to Motley, this makes the line dangerous.

President Motley also related an incident where an employee was placed on a seven-day suspension for refusing to make Gatorade. The person is a janitor. The job includes making Gatorade on the hog kill floor.

The union says this is an inherently unsanitary practice but is done in order to keep employees hydrated due to the temperature on the floor.

Motley said the janitor, not wanting to make anyone sick, refused to make the drink. Management then placed him on suspension.

Media has reached out to Smithfield for comment but there has been no response as yet.

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Margaret Sumption was recognized by SDFU for her service to rural youth as a volunteer, with the esteemed Minnie Lovinger Award. Sumption is pictured here with Aeriel Eitreim (left) Senior Advisory Council member from Sioux Falls and Cadence Konechne, (right) Jr. Junior Advisory Council member from Kimball.

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