Fired Tyson boss says COVID office pool was a ‘morale boost’

Iowa News

Tyson’s Fresh Meat workers file in for a tour of safety measures put into place after the plant in Waterloo, Iowa, had to shut down due to a COVID-19 outbreak in May. Lawyers for the estates of dead workers allege that the top official at Tyson Foods’ largest pork plant created a pool for managers to bet on how many workers would get infected during a coronavirus outbreak. (Brandon Pollock/The Courier via AP, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — One of the Tyson Foods managers fired for betting on how many workers would contract COVID-19 at their Iowa pork plant says the office pool was spontaneous and intended to boost morale.

Don Merschbrock, former night manager at the plant in Waterloo, Iowa, said he was speaking out in an attempt to show that the seven fired supervisors are “not the evil people” that Tyson has portrayed.

Tyson announced the terminations of the Waterloo managers on Dec. 16, weeks after the betting allegation surfaced in wrongful death lawsuits filed by the families of four workers who died of COVID-19.

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