Meatpacker Protection Bill Killed by Senate Committee

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — On a 7-1 vote, the South Dakota Senate Commerce and Energy Committee sent SB 145, ‘An Act to provide protection and workplace safety for meat and poultry processing workers’ to the 41st day of the session, essentially killing the legislation.

Those who supported the bill described it as a needed change that would offer increased protection and safety measures for the frontline workers producing food for South Dakotans.

The bill itself was expansive, seeking to address a variety of issues such as the appointment of a new meatpacking industry rights coordinator, employee protections for those who refuse to work under hazardous conditions, reemployment assistance for workers who leave due to poor safety conditions, and measures to prevent musculoskeletal disorders common among processing workers, among other things.

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