Cargill, a southern Alberta meat-packing plant recently became the site of one of the largest single COVID-19 outbreaks in North America. There were over 921 cases of the virus among its 2,000 workers (as of May 4,2020). The union representing Cargill employees surveyed 600 workers and 85 per cent reported they were afraid to return to work.
If an employee feels the worksite is unsafe can an employee refuse to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic? What is the responsibility of the Employer (Refer to the Alberta OH&S Act and Regulations)? And what are some implications/challenges to the supply chain, hiked costs to farmers and new ways of meat processing?