Michael Clifford: Beef factory workers are living in fear – Irish Examiner

Society needs all sorts to keep functioning. It needs those who can turn a buck, who oil the wheels of commerce, which in turn keeps the economy ticking over.

It also needs essential workers, people on whom society depends to keep supplying the basics even during, for instance, a deadly pandemic.

Naturally, both the buck turner and the essential worker are valued and this is reflected in how the state assists them in getting on with it. Or is that really the case?

This week we heard a lot about the essential workers who toil in the beef processing industry.

Outbreaks of the pandemic in beef factories in the midlands has led to the localised lockdown.

A spotlight has been turned on an industry which, according to the chair of the Oireachtas Covid Committee Michael McNamara, has enjoyed “a large degree of latitude for a long time”.

One man who

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