JBS Swift and Co. closes temporarily
Operations resume at JBS Swift in Grand Island after a temporary plant shutdown on Saturday.
JBS USA released a statement Monday regarding the temporary plant shutdown. It said “The Grand Island plant was temporarily down Saturday morning due to an animal handling issue. Corrective actions were immediately put in place and the plant has been fully operational since Saturday afternoon.”
NBC Nebraska has questioned JBS Swift about the exact nature of the animal handling issue. So far, no further detail has been provided.
We have also asked the USDA meat inspection service for more information and they have yet to respond.
One of the Tri-Cities' biggest employers shut down on Saturday.
After reaching back out to JBS Swift and Company to get a statement Saturday afternoon, we were told they are not operational. And that no one would be available to comment until Sunday.
Semi drivers parked down Swift Road waiting for JBS Swift and Co. to begin operations again.
The cattle drivers said that the meat packing plant shut down after two steers got loose inside the plant. But time is money for the truckers.
"We get paid by the hundreds weight. So, time wise, no we're not being compensated at this point," said Ryan Jurjens, a contracted hauler.
That's not the only issue that some haulers are facing during the down time.
"The chance of death loss on your trailer and pretty much a waste of time," said Jaerry Harders, a cattle hauler for JBS.
Harders said that if any of your cattle dies in your truck, you're held responsible for the loss. And it could also affect the livestock with it.
Though drivers may be frustrated with having to wait, they're more worried about their cattle's well-being.
"One of our biggest concerns though is the cattle and we take a lot of pride in what we do and we try to do everything we can for the cattle and take care of them the best we can when they're on our trucks," said Jurjens.
Jurjens along with other haulers don't find this humane for the cattle. They've been standing since 8 a.m. Saturday. And some have even began to lay down.
When asked if the plant was back up and running, security didn't offer a comment.