Springdale-based Tyson Food Inc announced that it will require its 120,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated fully this year and will pay them a $200 bonus to do so. The world’s second-largest meat producer and packer said 56,000 U.S. employees had been vaccinated. Office workers face a deadline of Oct. 1 to be vaccinated fully, while plant employees have until Nov. 1.
The CDC said on Monday that the seven-day average of new infections surpassed last summer’s peak before the country had access to vaccines. The Covid cases in the U.S., based on a seven-day moving average, reached 72,790 on Friday. The delta variant is fueling the surge in cases, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
The extra pay, as well as the deadline, are subject to talks with unions who represent those employees.The United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents 24,000 Tyson workers, said it would meet with Tyson Food Inc in the coming weeks to discuss the requirement and make sure that the workers’ rights are protected. The union also added that it stimulates workers to get vaccinated but noted several concerns about the company’s vaccine mandate.