Tyson Foods says 91% of workforce is vaccinated after imposing mandate

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  • More than 90% of Tyson Foods employees have been vaccinated.
  • Meatpacker announced in August that it would need to vaccinate its 120,000 employees.
  • The pandemic has hit the meatpacking industry hard, killing workers and temporarily closing some plants.

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More than 90% of Tyson Foods’ 120,000-person workforce have been vaccinated since the mandate was announced by Meatpacker in early August.

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In less than two months, the company has nearly doubled the number of employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The New York Times Dealbook Reported earlier.

Tyson’s office workers are to be fully vaccinated by Friday, while plant workers have until November 1. According to the company, 91% of workers have been vaccinated so far, which is roughly the same rate for employees working in union plants. Employees received a $200 bonus for compliance.

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Tyson’s vaccine mandate came at a time when new COVID cases were on the rise in the United States, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. As companies encourage workers to get vaccinated, cases have begun to decline in most US states.

Some companies, such as McDonald’s and Walmart, opted to impose the vaccine mandate only on their corporate employees. United Airlines, which implemented one of the strictest policies, said Tuesday that 593 of its employees are facing dismissal for failing to comply with its order. President Joe Biden recently unveiled a plan to increase vaccination rates that would require employers with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly.

According to union data, the pandemic has hit the meatpacking industry hard, killing at least 132 workers. Conditions at the plants require employees to work closely together for hours at a time, making social distancing nearly impossible. Group housing and shared transport to and from work also enhances contact between workers. The outbreak forced temporary plant closures in some instances.

Tyson’s shares were down less than 1% in morning trading. The stock is up 24% this year, bringing its market value to $29.3 billion.

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