Hundreds walk out after maquiladora coworker allegedly contracts COVID-19, dies

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Plant manufactures medical parts for U.S. industries; protesters 'invited' to air grievances to management

AP file photo

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — Hundreds of workers at a medical components factory abandoned production lines this morning to protest alleged lack of personal protective equipment, a newspaper reported.

The workers could be seen outside the Becton Dickinson maquiladora at the Airport Industrial Park holding a protest, Diario de Juarez reported.

The plant manufactures pumps, hoses, patches and other parts for medical machines. Those components are usually shipped to companies in the United States, the workers said.

The demonstrators said they’re not provided with protective gloves or gowns to do their work and that they must bring their own surgical masks. The newspaper quoted employees saying they’re afraid of catching COVID-19. The demonstrators said a fellow employee — a quality control technician — died recently from the coronavirus.

Juarez has recorded 466 coronavirus cases and 105 deaths, according to health officials, who admit thousands more could be infected but haven’t sought testing.

Plant officials were not immediately available for comment on the protest; the workers were persuaded to go back inside the plant before noon to air their grievances to management, KTSM reports.

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