Tyson Foods to increase benefits for fully vaccinated employees

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KCAU) — Tyson Foods is planning to increase benefits for fully vaccinated employees in the U.S.

Fully vaccinated team members will be able to earn 20 hours of paid sick leave per year starting January 1, 2022, the company said in a release. Additionally, new hires will also receive a week of vacation after working for six months.

The release states that the new policies are in addition to other recent improvements, including pay increases and other incentives like signing bouses.

“These measures are the latest examples of our ongoing efforts to make Tyson the most sought-after place to work, while reinforcing the importance team members’ health and safety,” Johanna Söderström, the executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Tyson Foods, said.

Tyson Foods is taking other measures to support U.S. frontline workers during the vaccination process. They include providing paid administrative leave for up to two weeks for employees who are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 over the next six months. It also includes compensating workers for time spent in educational sessions about the benefits and risks of the COVID vaccines, according to the release.

Tyson employees are able to still receive a COVID-19 vaccination with scheduled on-site events. Employees who get a vaccine are being given $200 from the company as a thank you, as a November 1 deadline approaches.

As part of the company’s efforts, more than 90,000 of U.S. employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 30,000 have been vaccinated since the company announced the requirement in August.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and the affiliated Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), supports Tyson Foods’ vaccination requirement. The UFCW and RWDSU represent more than 80 percent of the 31,000 Tyson Foods’ workers in the U.S. who are unionized.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone said their first priority is keep these essential workers safe on the job as the COVID-19 Delta surge continues.

“UFCW and Tyson agree these policies will ensure these workers have the paid leave they need as they continue to keep our food supply chain secure. We will continue to strongly encourage our members employed by Tyson Foods to get vaccinated if they have not already, and we are calling on companies across the industry to follow Tyson’s lead with similar policies that put the safety of essential workers first as this pandemic continues.”

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