30 September (WNN) — Tyson Foods on Thursday announced a 91% COVID-19 vaccination rate for its 120,000 US employees.
The United Food and Commercial Workers union agreed to the mandate in August in exchange for increased benefits, including sick leave and a $200 bonus.
The company’s frontline workers have until November 1 to get vaccinated, while about 6,000 office workers will have to get vaccinated by Friday.
Tyson hasn’t been sued, but it has lost some employees because of its mandate.
Tyson’s chief medical officer, Dr. Claudia Coplin, told The New York Times, “Initially the vaccination rate among our frontline workers was lower than among our office-based workers.”
One of Tyson’s plants reached a 100% vaccination rate after a young man living near the plant died of COVID-19. His uncle worked at the plant, and personal relationships inspired people to get vaccinated, Dr. Koplin said.
Large companies such as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s have enforced vaccine mandates on their corporate employees, but not on their frontline workers. United Airlines said on Tuesday that 593 employees faced dismissal for failing to comply with its order.
At least 132 workers in the meatpacking industry have died of the virus. Conditions in packing plants caused the virus to spread when the pandemic first began, leading to meat shortages across the country.