Tyson Foods Mandates Vaccines for Its U.S. Work Force
Tyson Foods, one of the country’s largest meat processors, said on Tuesday it would require vaccines for its American workers – about half of whom are unvaccinated.
The mandate will extend to employees in its offices and in the field. The poultry supplier demands that its management team be vaccinated by September 24 and the rest of its office workers by October 1. Frontline workers have until November 1 to be fully immunized. more frontline team members than office workers who still need to be vaccinated, ”said a Tyson spokesperson.
Tyson is offering $ 200 to frontline workers who verify that they are fully immunized. The company has already offered employees up to four hours of pay if they are vaccinated outside of their regular shift. Any new employee should be vaccinated before starting work, Tyson said.
Tyson, who is based in Springdale, Ark., Is still negotiating the issue with his unions, which make up about a third of his hourly workforce.
“We did not take this decision lightly,” wrote company general manager Donnie King in a note to employees announcing the news. “We have spent months encouraging our team members to get vaccinated – today less than half of our team members are. “
To date, more than 56,000 of Tyson’s 120,000 employees in the United States have been vaccinated. Tyson, which grossed around $ 43 billion in 2020, is the largest meat and poultry processor in the United States, according to Statista.
Companies, shaken by the Delta variant and eager to get back to normal, have announced a steady pace of vaccine mandates for their employees in recent weeks. But in the private sector, those demands, which have come from Facebook, Google and Walmart and others, have so far largely focused on office workers rather than the most vulnerable frontline workers. Labor shortages that plagued sectors such as retail, restaurants and meat processing complicated the decision, which was made more difficult by the economic divide between those who have been vaccinated and those who have been vaccinated. who haven’t been.
The meat packaging industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus, given the tight working conditions the job demands. And Tyson has come under fire for his breaches of safety standards, including allegations he failed to provide adequate safety equipment and refused requests from local authorities to shut down a factory.
Tyson said on Tuesday he spent more than $ 700 million on the pandemic, including purchasing masks, face shields and providing on-site testing.
The Meat Conditioner is based in Arkansas, where about 46 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated. It has factories across the country, including Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.
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