In this file:
· Tyson Foods Production Supervisor Files Fresh Overtime Claims
Tyson Foods Inc. is facing renewed Fair Labor Standards Act claims that it misclassified production supervisors as exempt from overtime pay, according to Texas federal court filings…
· China’s Virus-Safety Demand Is Latest Hurdle to Trade Deal
... Late Tuesday, Tyson confirmed it signed the statement declaring it is complying with Chinese laws and international food-safety standards...
· Widow of Tyson worker files suit over virus death
The family of a Tyson worker from Center who died in April of the coronavirus is suing the meat processing company, saying it failed to provide a safe work environment…
Tyson Foods Production Supervisor Files Fresh Overtime Claims
o Amended complaint alleges FLSA overtime violations
o Original suit dismissed due to attorney’s mistake
Kathleen Dailey, Bloomberg Law
June 24, 2020
Tyson Foods Inc. is facing renewed Fair Labor Standards Act claims that it misclassified production supervisors as exempt from overtime pay, according to Texas federal court filings.
German Lopez Martinez, who worked as a pepperoni slice supervisor at Tyson’s meat-processing plant in Forth Worth for 20 years, filed an amended complaint Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
The original lawsuit, filed May 22, was dismissed because Martinez’s lawyer, Melinda Arbuckle of Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP, failed to comply with the court’s local rule requiring that the plaintiff’s counsel reside in the district. Arbuckle didn’t...
China’s Virus-Safety Demand Is Latest Hurdle to Trade Deal
Isis Almeida, Michael Hirtzer, Tatiana Freitas and Mike Dorning, Bloomberg
via Yahoo Finance - June 24, 2020
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S.-China trade deal has just suffered a new setback.
China wants international shippers of meat and soybeans to sign a document attesting their cargoes meet safety standards to ensure they aren’t contaminated with the novel coronavirus. That’s a step many American exporters have so far been reluctant to take for fear of liability, with Tyson Foods Inc. being the first to confirm it’s signed the certificate.
The new demands from China could end up being an impediment to shipments, further delaying the $36.5 billion in farm purchases the Asian nation pledged under the phase one trade deal.
The move comes even as the world’s major public health authorities say the virus isn’t foodborne, raising questions over why China is taking the action. It could also act as a non-tariff trade barrier, a tactic the Asian country has applied in the past with everything from American corn cargoes to Canadian canola.
China’s request isn’t a move aimed at imposing trade restrictions, according to people familiar with the matter. The demand doesn’t target specific countries as it’s for all exporters, and aims to ease Chinese consumer concerns over the safety of imported food.
“I believe this is simply a buyer seeking leverage,” said Chris Robinson, managing director of agriculture and commodities at TJM Institutional Services in Chicago. “They were notorious in the past for canceling shipments for various ‘infractions,’” he said referring to China.
China’s Meat Fears Spill Over to Soy With Virus-Free Request
On Sunday, China suspended poultry imports from a Tyson Foods plant where hundreds of employees tested positive for Covid-19, stoking concerns over the broader implications for U.S. and global meat exports. If shippers don’t sign the new affidavits, they could be subject to more bans.
This comes just after China signaled last week it was getting ready to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the trade deal following recent talks with U.S. officials in Hawaii. Donald Trump has touted the deal as being a big boost to farmers, a key part of his base as he seeks re-election in November.
China’s latest actions could just be the country “stirring the pot” ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in November, Robinson said.
Traders are already on edge after a Trump official on Monday raised questions about the deal before the president himself said the agreement was “fully intact.” Rhetoric between the two countries has intensified recently. Trump employed a racist slur in referring to the pandemic as the “Kung flu” at a rally over the weekend in Oklahoma and the administration has been criticizing Beijing for saying it would impose contentious new national security legislation on Hong Kong.
Chinese buyers are asking soybean and meat shippers to comply with safety regulations “to ensure that food imported into China is not contaminated with the Covid-19 virus,” according to the declaration seen by Bloomberg. The request was directed at “a wide variety of meats, seafood and other foodstuffs,” the U.S. Meat Export Federation said in a message to members.
For shippers, there are many unknowns, including whether and how cargoes will be subjected to Covid-19 testing and what sanctions could be imposed if China says the shipments carried the virus. So far, U.S. exporters seem to be taking a conservative approach, signaling concerns over signing the document.
Late Tuesday, Tyson confirmed it signed the statement declaring it is complying with Chinese laws and international food-safety standards.
“We are very confident in the safety of our products and have put measures in place that are in full compliance with all applicable requirements, and have signed the certification on that basis,” Tyson said.
Meanwhile, some competitors in rival Brazil including meat giants JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods and BRF SA have agreed to sign. And Europe’s meat industry...
Widow of Tyson worker files suit over virus death
By Josh Edwards, The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel
via Lufkin Daily News (TX) - Jun 24, 2020
The family of a Tyson worker from Center who died in April of the coronavirus is suing the meat processing company, saying it failed to provide a safe work environment.
Maria Yolanda Chavez filed the amended suit in federal court last week seeking unspecified damages and funeral costs for her late husband, Jose Angel Chavez.
Mr. Chavez became ill with the coronavirus in early April and died April 17, according to the lawsuit filed on his family’s behalf by Houston-based attorney Patrick O’Hara. He had worked at the plant for more than 20 years, according to the suit.
“Tyson Foods, Inc. failed to provide a safe work environment for Jose Angel Chavez after the COVID-19 pandemic began,” a portion of the suit says.
A civil complaint tells only one side of the of a lawsuit. Tyson’s attorneys have been served a copy of the suit and have until July 30 to formally respond.
An employee at the plant told The Daily Sentinel in late April that company officials failed to take safety precautions as the coronavirus was spreading. That employee said plant workers were previously told that they would not be receiving masks “because the virus might get trapped inside the masks, which would continually expose us to the virus.”
The lawsuit lists six agents of negligence, all of which which were previously described by that employee of the plant. That employee spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media and feared losing their job for doing so...