SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KMTV) — Tyson Foods, which operates processing plants in Omaha and Council Bluffs, said in a press release on Tuesday that it will require U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by November 1. The company said that almost half of its American workforce is currently vaccinated and that infection rates are low.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the single most effective thing we can do to protect our team members, their families and their communities,” said Dr. Claudia Coplein, Chief Medical Officer, Tyson Foods. “With rapidly rising COVID-19 case counts of contagious, dangerous variants leading to increasing rates of severe illness and hospitalization among the U.S. unvaccinated population, this is the right time to take the next step to ensure a fully vaccinated workforce.”
In a memo, President and CEO Donnie King outlined the vaccination deadlines for staff:
- All Tyson leadership (officers and above) by September 24, 2021
- All team members in office by October 1, 2021
- All other team members by November 1, 2021
- All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start date
- Team members that are members of a union will be subject to the results of union bargaining on this issue
"To our frontline team members: once you are fully vaccinated, and verified in our Vaccination Verification Program, you will receive $200 as thank you for doing your part to keep us all safe, subject to ongoing discussions with our unions," wrote King in the memo. "We did not take this decision lightly. We have spent months encouraging our team members to get vaccinated – today, under half of our team members are. We take this step today because nothing is more important than our team members’ health and safety, and we thank them for the work they do, every day, to help us feed this country, and our world."