Worker shortage concerns loom in immigrant-heavy meatpacking

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FILE – (AP Photo/Stephen Groves, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The meat and poultry industry has historically relied on immigrant labor to do some of the most dangerous jobs in America, from employing refugees to a notorious record of hiring immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

Now that reliance and uncertainty about the pandemic is fueling concerns about possible labor shortages to meet demands for beef, pork and chicken.

Companies struggling to hire are spending millions on fresh incentives. Whether there’ll be long-lasting difficulties hinge on if employees feel safe, unemployment, industry reforms and President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.  

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