SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Food processor JBS SA JBSS3.SA is hiring 5,200 additional workers in Brazil, seeking to boost output in a key export base while fending off the threat of the novel coronavirus, which disrupted some its plants in the second quarter.
Most of the new positions will be “to modernize the lines and assist in production,” the company said in a statement on Friday. A minority of the new hires are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced JBS and rivals to remove high-risk workers like pregnant women to protect them during the health crisis.
JBS said the jobs are for slaughtering and deboning beef, poultry and pork in 16 Brazilian states. Other positions also opened up at its distribution centers, stores, poultry incubators, and feed units.
Last week, JBS said it had hired more than 10,000 people between March and June in response to COVID-19. Its plants have been hit by a string of outbreaks that led to closures in at least three states for testing and enforcement of stricter health protocols.
Brazilian meatpackers recorded 24,500 net job additions between January and June even as the overall economy shed 1.2 million jobs, government data show.
JBS said most of the new jobs announced Friday are in Southern Brazil, where it produces pork, poultry and prepared foods. JBS also opened 700 positions in Mato Grosso and Rondônia.
Reporting by Ana Mano
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