WASHINGTON — On April 3, the National Chicken Council joined a broad group of food industry associations in a letter requesting that Congress support food industry workers, which are considered essential critical infrastructure workers during this time, in any aid package that might be considered when Congress returns in late April.
NCC and the entire food industry appreciate the bold steps Congress has taken thus far to respond to the coronavirus crisis in the United States, the council noted, adding that, “on behalf of the food industry, we are joining in urging Congress to target future aid in the next coronavirus response package to the dedicated and talented men and women working on the front lines of this epidemic in food processing, food retail, food transportation, and throughout the food supply chain.”
The federal government through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already declared food industry workers as “critical infrastructure industry” employees, and most states and provinces in the United States hold that food industry workers are “critical” or “essential” even during stay-at-home orders.
The essential critical industries working to care for, feed, and protect Americans are selflessly serving the nation by showing up to work — despite the risk — during this time of crisis. While the work of our public health professionals, first responders, and public safety employees is unquestioned, we must also adequately recognize the service of food industry workers who protect our food security.
“Essential critical infrastructure workers are fighting a war against the coronavirus at great personal cost, and these workers should be recognized and supported by the federal government,” the letter reads. “Whether by exempting these essential critical infrastructure workers from federal taxes and requiring immediate adjustments to their tax withholdings, or by providing direct payments, the federal government should stand by these workers as they serve as the nation’s lifeline during this difficult time.”
The letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif).
The full letter can be found at https://nccwashingtonreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Final-Critical-Infrastructure-Worker-Letter.pdf.