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JBS Sanitation Co. Hires More Than Half of Former PSSI Employees to Clean Iowa Pork Plant

July 14, 2023
JBS’s new sanitation company, started in May, will take over cleaning operations at the Marshalltown, Iowa, pork facility and rescue a majority of PSSI workers from unemployment.

JBS USA’s Marshalltown, Iowa, pork processing plant will use the recently created JBS Sanitation Co. to clean the facility, no longer using the services of embattled sanitation contractor Packers Sanitation Services Inc. (PSSI). Local reports state that JBS Sanitation Co. will hire a majority of the 125 PSSI workers — who were scheduled to be laid off by PSSI on Aug. 15 — to similar roles with JBS Sanitation.

JBS told the local news outlet that 76 employees (64 hourly and 12 managers) have successfully transitioned to JBS Sanitation. JBS has ended its business relationship with PSSI after the cleaning company was fined $1.5 million by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for employing as many as 102 children as young as 13 working in dangerous situations cleaning meat processing plants.

JBS announced the creation of its own sanitation company in early May, and began transitioning 10 of its facilities from PSSI services to JBS Sanitation Co. work. The JBS Marshalltown plant was not among the 13 plants named or fined in the wake of the DOL investigation.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1149 president also told the news outlet that approximately 90 percent of the new JBS Sanitation workforce has opted to join the union. PSSI had been a non-union company prior to the child labor scandal, but a few weeks opened its doors to unionization when it agreed to allow the UFCW to offer representation at its locations nationwide.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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