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Title: How Tyson Foods Got 60,500 Workers to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine Quickly
Source: [None]
URL Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/h ... e-coronavirus-vaccine-quickly/
Published: Nov 5, 2021
Author: Lauren Hirsch and Michael Corkery
Post Date: 2021-11-10 08:09:31 by BTP Holdings
Keywords: None
Views: 29

How Tyson Foods Got 60,500 Workers to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine Quickly

Lauren Hirsch and Michael Corkery | November 5, 2021

A processing area at the Tyson Foods Chick’n Quick plant in Rogers, Ark. The company’s vaccine mandate led to a surge of employee vaccinations within three months.© Jacob Slaton for The New York Times A processing area at the Tyson Foods Chick’n Quick plant in Rogers, Ark. The company’s vaccine mandate led to a surge of employee vaccinations within three months.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — When Tyson, one of the world’s largest meatpacking companies, announced in early August that all of its 120,000 workers would need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or lose their jobs, Diana Eike was angry. Ms. Eike, an administrative coordinator at the company, had resisted the vaccine, and not for religious or political reasons like many others here in her home state.

“It was just something personal,” she said.

Now, Ms. Eike is fully vaccinated, and she is relieved that Tyson made the decision for her. The company, she said, “took the burden off of me making the choice.”

Across the country, workers have reacted to vaccine mandates with a mix of emotions. Employer requirements are taking effect without major controversy in many areas. But in some cities, government workers have marched through the streets in protest, while others have quit. Numerous companies, fearing a wave of resignations, have hesitated on mandates, even as they struggled with new coronavirus outbreaks.

“It was just something personal,” Diana Eike, a Tyson employee, said of her initial resistance to being vaccinated.© Jacob Slaton for The New York Times “It was just something personal,” Diana Eike, a Tyson employee, said of her initial resistance to being vaccinated. Tyson’s announcement that it would require vaccinations across its corporate offices, packing houses and poultry plants, many of which are situated in the South and Midwest where resistance to the vaccines is high, was arguably the boldest mandate in the corporate world.

“We made the decision to do the mandate, fully understanding that we were putting our business at risk,” Tyson’s chief executive, Donnie King, said in an interview last week. “This was very painful to do.”

But it was also bad for business when Tyson had to shut facilities because of virus outbreaks. Since announcing the policy, roughly 60,500 employees have received the vaccine, and more than 96 percent of its work force is vaccinated.

Tyson’s experience shows how vaccine mandates in the workplace can be persuasive. It comes as the Biden administration set a Jan. 4 deadline requiring vaccines — or weekly testing — at companies with 100 or more workers.

Tyson’s aggressive push on vaccines is a significant turn for a company that had been criticized early in the pandemic for failing to adequately protect workers in its plants. Its low-wage workers typically stand elbow-to-elbow to do the work of cutting, deboning and packing meat, making them particularly vulnerable to the airborne virus.

Donnie King, the chief executive of Tyson Foods. “We made the decision to do the mandate, fully understanding that we were putting our business at risk,” he said.© Jacob Slaton for The New York Times Donnie King, the chief executive of Tyson Foods. “We made the decision to do the mandate, fully understanding that we were putting our business at risk,” he said.

Tyson, like other large meatpackers, lobbied the Trump administration in 2020 to issue an executive order that essentially allowed plants to stay open despite rising infections. The move followed a warning from Tyson’s chairman, John Tyson, of a meat shortage in the United States, even as the company and other meatpackers were exporting more pork to China than before the pandemic, an investigation by The New York Times found.

The Chick’n Quick plant. Tyson spent time talking to workers about why they were hesitant to get vaccinated and brought in doctors to answer employees’ questions.© Jacob Slaton for The New York Times The Chick’n Quick plant. Tyson spent time talking to workers about why they were hesitant to get vaccinated and brought in doctors to answer employees’ questions.

A recent congressional report found that 151 Tyson employees died of the virus. The report said that at a plant in Amarillo, Texas, inspectors observed that many employees were working with “saturated” masks. At a pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, as dozens of workers fell ill and three died, local officials, including the county sheriff, said the company initially refused their requests to shut down the plant in the spring of 2020.

Tyson says it has spent more than $810 million on Covid safety measures and new on-site medical services. It conducted plant-wide coronavirus testing and hired its first chief medical officer.

And the vaccines brought a new tool to protect employees — while keeping the company’s plants open.

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Poster Comment:

The company that is producing the vaccines just got 60 million doses cancelled and the funding that went with it because of contaminated doses.

Don't vax me, bro. ;)

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