LANSING — Tyson Foods, one of one of the world’s largest food companies, is requiring all its U.S. office staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, 2021. All other employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1, 2021.
The company is also offering a $200 incentive to fully vaccinated frontline workers.
This action makes Tyson Foods the largest U.S. food company to require COVID-19 vaccinations for its entire workforce.
Almost half of Tyson Foods’ U.S. workforce has been vaccinated and coronavirus infection rates among team members remain low, according to a Tyson media statement.
Michigan Farm Bureau Livestock Specialist Ernie Birchmeier anticipates additional companies within the food processing industry will follow suit.
“In 2020, we saw the negative impact of processing plant closures on our farm operations and to U.S. consumers who saw empty store shelves for the first time,” Birchmeier said. “Maintaining a healthy workforce is critical to our overall food production system, whether it be at the farm, processing, distribution or retail level.”
In a letter to employees, Tyson President and CEO Donnie King said the company did not take the decision lightly but cited new variants of COVID-19 are more contagious, more deadly and responsible for the escalation of new cases in America.
“We have spent months encouraging our team members to get vaccinated — today, under half of our team members are,” King wrote. “It is abundantly clear that getting vaccinated is the single most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.”
— Michigan Farm Bureau
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