Twenty-one workers at an ArcelorMittal-owned steel plant in the Mexican port city of Lazaro Cardenas have died from COVID-19, the metalworkers union said on Saturday.
The dead include workers, contractors and suppliers at the plant, said Carlos Solorio, general secretary of the local branch of the national union of mining and metalworkers.
“Everyone worked for the company,” Solorio told Reuters. Nine people who died were union members, he added.
ArcelorMittal, the world‘s largest steel producer, was not immediately available to comment on the fatalities report, initially made public in a video posted to social media by union president Senator Napoleon Gomez.
Solorio said the 21 deaths had occurred since April and that workers likely contracted the virus outside the factory, given the strict health protocols adopted by the company. The plant employs more than 7,000 people, according to the union.
ArcelorMittal said it has made substantial donations to fight the virus at Lazaro Cardenas, a major port on the Pacific coast.
With more than 385,000 confirmed cases and nearly 43,500 deaths on Saturday, Mexico has the fourth highest coronavirus death toll in the world. Lazaro Cardenas has recorded 2,651 cases and 139 deaths to date, according to official data.