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Coronavirus: Requests for meat packing from Farmer John plant are closed



The Coronavirus outbreak attacked Farmer John, 8 other factories in Vernon

Trade unions representing workers at the Vernon meatpacking plant where at least 153 have descended with COVID-19 Monday called for the immediate closure of the facility, saying there was no evidence of steps taken to control the working coronavirus.

The outbreak at the John Farmer factory, a division of Smithfield Foods that produces Dodger Dogs and other pork products, is by far the largest in Los Angeles County that occurs outside nursing homes, prisons or other residences, according to data from the Department of Public Health districts.

The union representing most of the 1,800 factory employees alleged that the company was delaying protection measures until workers were sick and not transparent about what was known about how and to whom the virus had spread inside the facility.

“Smithfield has not provided complete information about what actually happened inside the Vernon plant,” said John Grant, president of UFCW Local 770. “Without information, we cannot make decisions about worker health and safety.”

The union wants Smithfield to continue to pay workers while the company closes the plant for cleaning and an investigation into whether it complies with state regulators and regional health departments.

In a statement Monday, Smithfield said his employees “are very important to our nation’s response to COVID-19. We thank them for keeping food on the American table and for implementing aggressive measures to protect their health and safety during this pandemic. “

At Farmer John, the company has taken steps that it says follow or exceed the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That includes providing personal protective equipment, placing Plexiglas barriers on the production floor and in break rooms and temperature screening. The company has offered free testing, eliminating co-payment for virus-related treatments and workers are paid when they are quarantined.

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“We do everything we can, as fast as we can,” the company statement said.

This outbreak is part of a wave of national infection in a meat packaging plant, where employees work long hours in tight places conducive to the spread of the corona virus. Thousands have come down with COVID-19 at factories, including about one fifth of the meatpacking force in Iowa and South Dakota, according to a CDC study.

At Farmer John, there was an initial outbreak in the ham-boning department last month, but it appears to have been under control until recently, union representatives said, when the number of cases reported to local health officials began to skyrocket.

Balloon cases occur when companies make voluntary testing available to all employees. A spokeswoman for the county Public Health Department, which has helped the city of Vernon in responding to the outbreak, said it was not clear whether the increase in cases was caused by additional testing “or to spread among workers.”

Pedro Albarran, an El Monte resident who has worked at John’s Farm for 25 years, said the company did not start providing masks and face shields until his colleagues were sick and delegations of workers repeatedly went to management.

“We kept asking and asking, and finally we got it,” he said.

While some cutting lines now have a Plexiglas barrier between workers, not all do it, Albarran said. In the row, where the pork shoulder is sliced, the cutters still stand so close that they hit the shoulder when they hold the meat, he said.

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“It’s all day,” he said.

Smithfield Foods said workers outside the health care industry were not advised to wear face masks until the CDC revised its guidelines on April 3. Overnight, the company faced the challenge of procuring masks and face shields when the supply chain was “maximized”. “

“We cannot make these items emerge from thin air. If we can, we will definitely do it, “the company statement said. “The suggestion that we are slow to react improperly and completely ignores troublesome truths – supplies are not available.”

Vernon, an industrial city south of downtown L.A., has witnessed an outbreak in eight other food preparation factories, including a meat packaging plant, a coffee company, a company that manufactures frozen pizza, a pack of green tea and a bakery.

Many who work in Vernon live in the LA southeastern community. with high density, including Bell, Bell Gardens, Maywood and South Gate. Public health officials said they were concerned about factory workers carrying the virus home to relatives and neighbors.

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Prize for the Portuguese. Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week



Prize for the Portuguese.  Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week

BUTndre Silva won the competition and became the best player of the week in the Champions League, informed UEFAthis Thursday.

The former Porto striker scored in Jota’s 3-1 victory over Celtic Leipzig, scoring a brace in a match that was signed after his Portuguese compatriot equalized.

In addition, Andre Silva also provided the assist for Nkunku, scoring the first goal of this Wednesday’s game in which huge show of foreign fans.

In addition to the Leipzig striker, Di Maria (Juventus), Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Di Lorenzo (Napoli) also fought in the fight for the prize, but it was the Portuguese who managed to smile after voting for the third round of the competition, the famous This Thursday is the fair.

Read also: Diogo Costa and Andre Silva named to Champions League Team of the Week

See also: Andre Silva among the nominees for the title of the best player of the week in the Champions League

See also: double dose. Andre Silva returned to celebrate and sentenced doubts

See also: Andre Silva took advantage of Hart’s colossal mistake and responded to Jota’s goal

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu – Renaissance



Eternal Portuguese deja vu - Renaissance

At the end of the summer of 1972, exactly half a century ago, SEDES – Associação para o Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (the most famous reformist think tank during Marseilles) issued a document for the country entitled “Portugal: The country we are, the country we want to be “. The Marseille spring had already turned into autumn: Américo Thomas had just been re-elected, the colonial war had dragged on, repression had intensified, and an economic crisis was already brewing. Seeing the general frustration, and at the same time willing to go against it, the signatories of CEDES began by asking “Where will we be and how will we be in 1980?” to criticize the obstacles that overshadowed Portugal in the early 1970s.

Among the “problems that are getting worse without a solution”, emigration stood out, indicating the country’s inability to offer better living and working conditions to those who left; the growing inflationary process, reflected in the cost of living; the inevitability of economic integration in Europe when the country is not ready for international commercial competition; “disaggregation of regional economies” with “continuous depopulation of municipalities and regions” within the country; or “deterioration of public administration” when the government fails to promote a “prestigious, moralized, revitalized and efficient public sector”. “No one will have any difficulty,” continued the text, “to add to a new list of urgent questions that seriously endanger national life, about which much has been said and which, year after year, continue to wait for a sufficient solution.” Therefore, “the prevailing feeling in the country” in contemplation of the recent past and present could not but be “annoyance at urgent battles, the need for which was endlessly discussed, at decisions that were changed or postponed, and at rejected goals” or which were not clearly formulated ” .

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Between “untapped resources” and/or “lack of organizational and decision-making capacity” there was “widespread anxiety” stemming from the inevitable observation that “we are very far from the results that we could achieve thanks to the progress of the Portuguese and Portugal”. This was the macro goal of the reformist, humanist and liberalizing technocrats that SEDES brought together. “Ultimately,” they reminded Marcelo Cayetano, “the real obstacle can only be associated with the low political priority of economic and social development in our country.” So, in short, there was an urgent need to “radically change our economic, social and political way of life”, since “a national balance based on general anemia, repression and weakening of various participants” is unsustainable and pernicious.

SEDES did not know that the Estado Novo would fall in April 1974, that democracy would come in 1976, and Europe from the EEC (after EFTA) in 1986 of repression, finally gained the freedom that was discussed between the lines of the 1972 manifesto ., there would be conditions for solving (almost) all economic and social problems of development and cohesion.

Fifty years have passed since this manifesto, and almost the same number has already been in democracy. However, if we compare the above quotes with the Portuguese present, the feeling of deja vu is indescribable. SEDES wondered what the country would be like in 1980 and is wondering today (in its recent study “Ambition: Doubling GDP in 20 Years”) where we will be in 2040. It may be a replay of a sad fate: knowing (some) where to go, but never getting there!

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy – Observer



Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy - Observer

Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho met this Wednesday with his Algerian counterpart Ramtan Lamamra, who expressed interest in Portuguese companies investing in Algeria’s solar and wind energy.

Speaking with Lusa, João Cravinho also said that for 2023 it was decided to hold a “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the state visit of the President of Algeria. Algeria to Portugal.

The Portuguese foreign minister said today’s visit to Algeria, where he was with Ramtan Lamamra, whom he has known since 2005 when he was ambassador to Lisbon, is “based on old knowledge”, but also a visit to a country that “does not to be a neighbor”, shares “a lot of fears”. “Not being a neighboring country, it almost shares many concerns about the region, the Mediterranean, the European Union’s relationship with Africa and the Arab world. It was important for us to talk about what we can do together as part of the geopolitical and geo-economic transformation,” he explained.

João Cravinho stressed that the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a factor “which could not but be the subject of dialogue”, and also added that “geo-economic issues related to energy, renewable energy sources and the opportunities that come with the digital transition” also were on the table.


“While Algeria is a major exporter of fossil fuels, it is also a country with huge potential in terms of solar and wind energy. We have very qualified companies in these areas, and the Algerian side has expressed interest in [ter] Portuguese investors in these areas,” the minister said.

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The official said that it would be a matter of working with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), with the Secretary of State for Internationalization, as well as with a sectoral ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries is scheduled for 2023, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the Algerian President’s state visit to Portugal.

“We have a very busy calendar between the two countries. Now we will try to organize a mixed commission, where technical specialists from both countries will gather,” he said, stressing that there are “14 legal documents that are practically finalized and will be signed” in 2023.

João Gomes Cravinho was on a visit to Algiers today to assess bilateral relations in the economic sphere, as well as in terms of cooperation, language and culture, and to discuss international issues.

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