PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2020 


Democrats reported to be preparing a smaller pandemic relief package; vote-by-mail awaits a court decision in Montana.


2020Talks - September 25, 2020 


Senators respond to President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. And, former military and national security officials endorse Joe Biden.

Nebraska's Essential Meatpacking Workers Still at Risk

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to prevent meatpacking plants from closing and keep food supply chains open. (Flickr)
President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to prevent meatpacking plants from closing and keep food supply chains open. (Flickr)
May 11, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. -- Many Nebraska meatpacking workers, who stand side by side in cool, virus-preserving conditions, are reporting that the meat they process is more valuable than their lives.

According to Douglas County's health director, 70% of COVID-19 infections involving two or more people have been linked to the area's nine meatpacking plants.

Abbie Kretz, lead organizer at Heartland Workers Center, says she understands the need to protect the nation's food supply.

"But at the same time, these workers are working in close quarters, and whereas some companies are trying to take the necessary precautions and recommendations by the CDC, not all are doing it," she states. "And we still have workers becoming infected."

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to prevent plants from closing and keep food supply chains moving.

Kretz' group is calling on Gov. Pete Ricketts to move beyond voluntary compliance and demand that plants install uniform safety protocols recommended by health experts. They include social distancing, adequate sanitation and personal protection equipment, and testing, along with paid medical leave so sick workers can stay home and not lose their job.

Kretz says she worries that plant managers don't understand that there is a life and family behind each worker considered an essential employee, many of whom are immigrants and refugees. She is hopeful that the pandemic has made it clear that everyone is connected, and everyone should be treated as a valued member of the community.

"But it can no longer be this 'us versus them' mentality," she stresses. "And I think once we can begin to see ourselves as one Nebraska, we can actually stand in solidarity with each other and say that these actions need to take place for the benefit of all."

In Nebraska and across the U.S., minority populations have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus.

A recent Live Well Nebraska magazine report showed nearly 70% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Douglas County were people of color.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - NE