Aug 25, 2021 - Business

Tyson chicken plants offer employees $10,000 to get vaccinated

Illustration of three people's hands holding vaccine cards up towards a dangling golden carrot

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

One of Tyson Foods' business units is dangling a hefty carrot hoping it will encourage workers to get vaccinated.

What's happening: Employees at nearly 50 U.S. Tyson chicken plants have an opportunity to win $10,000, once a week for the next five weeks, if they've received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to an internal flyer posted on Facebook.

Why it matters: Tyson employs 139,000 people, most of them in the U.S., with about 24,000 in Arkansas alone.

Details: Only employees at the company's chicken plants are eligible for the $10,000 giveaway, but Tyson's prepared foods, beef and pork plants are offering other monetary incentives, spokesperson Derek Burleson told Axios.

  • Each Tyson business unit approaches employee engagement differently and has the ability to provide incentives leaders think will work.
  • The chicken plant incentive isn't tied to any specific pockets of resistance to the vaccine, Burleson said.

Flashback: Tyson announced earlier this month it would require all of its U.S. employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 1.

  • In that announcement, the company said it would pay each worker $200 to get the vaccine, which is in addition to its previous policy of offering up to four hours of pay if they have to get the jab outside their normal work hours or away from a Tyson location.
  • The company has hosted about 100 onsite vaccination clinics at its plants this year.

Zoom out: At the time of the mandate announcement, only about 56,000 U.S. employees had received the vaccine. In the week after, more than 5,400 told Tyson they were getting the shot, and many others continue to do so, Burleson said.

Editor's note: Reporter Worth Sparkman is a former employee of Tyson Foods.


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