Congolese staff attended the supervisors’ finances assembly to request that the county fund its direct help program once more.
About two dozen staff from the Tyson Meals Columbus Junction gathered on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors finances work session on Monday to ask the board to provide a second spherical of Direct Help Program checks.
This system provided county residents a one-time fee of $1,400 to help those that had been financially impacted by COVID-19, in keeping with a page from the county’s web site. This system was created in Might with 1,919 residents receiving monetary help.
The supervisors first approved this system in February and allotted $3.5 million to this system on the time. Residents chosen for help had been picked utilizing a lottery system.
The gathering comes after a census from Escucha Mi Voz, an area nonprofit devoted to helping and advocating for immigrant staff. The group discovered that greater than 500 Congolese meatpacking plant staff in Johnson County weren’t notified of the direct help program.
On the assembly, staff spoke to the supervisors about how essential the help would have been and requested the board to contemplate funding this system once more.
Perry Makumi, a employee on the plant who advocated for funding on the assembly, translated on behalf of among the different French audio system. In an interview with The Day by day Iowan after the assembly, he mentioned the largest battle has been the shortage of communication from the county.
“A few of us realized of this direct help from Johnson County very late,” Makumi mentioned. “It wasn’t honest for individuals to be disregarded of this direct help.”
Esther Dangaye, one other Tyson employee who spoke on the assembly, informed the supervisors she had not been conscious of the direct help program.
Different staff in attendance additionally shared their tales of working by way of the pandemic, a few of them contracting COVID-19, which compelled them to take break day. In consequence, they misplaced out on pay, forcing them to begin working instantly after they recovered.
The meatpacking plant closed for two weeks in 2020 with “restricted operations” due to an outbreak of COVID-19 worker circumstances.
Many staff mentioned they helped hold the nation fed and if the county funded the help program once more, it will assist them financially after working by way of the pandemic.
An Escucha Mi Voz statement launched Monday mentioned the second spherical of the direct help program is essential as a result of meatpacking plant staff had been among the many hardest hit within the nation in the course of the top of the pandemic.
The lottery system used to pick people additionally has the potential to depart some people in want of monetary help. Supervisors Rod Sullivan and Jon Inexperienced in the course of the Feb. 24 formal assembly opposed and voted in opposition to the eligibility requirement and as a substitute proposed utilizing a system that will prioritize people who had not acquired earlier stimulus checks.
As reported by The Day by day Iowan, Ninoska Campos, a frontrunner from the Fund Excluded Employees Coalition, launched an announcement on Feb. 24 after the supervisors’ vote, during which she additionally opposed the eligibility necessities.
“Escucha Mi Voz members thank Supervisors Rod Sullivan and Jon Inexperienced for his or her help, however total we give Johnson County an F for his or her response to the detrimental financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Campos mentioned within the press launch.