JBS beef plants in US forced to halt production after cyberattack


All JBS beef plants in the U.S. were forced to shut down production following a cyberattack on the meat producer over the weekend, a union representing workers at the facilities said Tuesday. JBS Beef in Cactus said that the plant did not operate on Tuesday and will resume production, Wednesday, June 2.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union said that the company is "working around the clock to resolve" the issue, though it urged JBS to work with the government to quickly resume operations.

UFCW union officials said that eight JBS beef facilities spread across the U.S. were experiencing shutdowns as of Tuesday, while the company's pork plants in seven states remained operational. 

JBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though the company said in a statement reported by Bloomberg that it expected the vast majority of its plants to be operational by Wednesday.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone said in the statement that the group is "urging JBS to ensure that all of its meatpacking workers receive their contractually guaranteed pay as these plant shutdowns continue."

"UFCW is calling on JBS to work with state and federal leaders to help get JBS meatpacking workers back on the job as soon as possible so these essential workers can continue to keep our country’s food supply fully operational and secure as this pandemic continues," he added.

JBS, the world's largest meat processor, was hit with a cyberattack on Sunday that affected its servers in North America and Australia.  

The company said in a statement Monday that it was "not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation. Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers."

White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that the cyberattack likely came from Russia, adding that the U.S. government was engaging with Russia directly over the issue.

The cyberattack came weeks after a similar ransomware attack forced Colonial Pipeline to halt production for several days, prompting panic buying that resulted in gas shortages in a number of states on the East Coast. 

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