Tyson Foods to require entire workforce to have COVID - 19 vaccinated

Tyson Foods to require entire workforce to have COVID - 19 vaccinated

Tyson Foods is mandating COVID - 19 vaccinations for its entire workforce in an effort to protect against the spread of delta variant.

The food giant will require employees at its U.S. office locations to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 and all other team members by Nov. 1. Tyson leadership will be required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 24 and new hires will be required to have fully vaccinated prior to their start date.

Donnie King has attested that vaccinating is the single best thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities, said Tyson Foods president and CEO Donnie King in a memo to employees. We take this step today because nothing is more important than our team members' health and safety. We thank them for the work they do each day to feed our country, and our world.

The company says it will make exceptions to the vaccination mandate for workers who seek a medical or religious accommodation.

According to Tyson, more than 56,000 US employees, or nearly half of its workforce, have already been vaccinated ; COVID - 19 infection rates among its team members remain low.

The company noted that more than $700 million has been spent to date on COVID - 19, including purchasing masks, face shields and temperature scanners, installing protective barriers and providing on-site testing and vaccinations. The company has also partnered with a medical provider for on-site services, hired an additional 200 nurses and employed its first chief medical officer.

In addition to its current policy that pays workers with up to four hours of extra pay for vaccinations by an external medical provider outside their normal shifts, Tyson says it will give $200 to its frontline team members to get vaccinated.

As of July 27, at least 132 meatpacking workers and 67 food processing workers died contracted COVID - 19, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents approximately 1.3 million food and retail employees.

Tyson is the latest to require employees vaccinations, following similar moves by major companies including Equinox Group, and the Telecom Group.