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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.

Go deeper

Biden mandates COVID vaccines for federal workers, with no option for testing

President Biden speaks on workers rights and labor unions in the East Room at the White House on September 08, 2021. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday signed executive orders requiring most federal employees to get the COVID vaccine, without the option of getting regular testing instead.

Why it matters: The orders go further than the Biden administration's previously announced policy, which required federal workers to be vaccinated or follow other rigorous safety protocols, including regular testing.

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — considered the world's largest by volume. Park officials wrapped the trees in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. And officials said early Sunday protection efforts appeared to be working.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. drone strike victims' families in Afghanistan seek compensation

A relative of Ezmarai Ahmadi, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike, looks at the wreckage of a vehicle that was damaged in the strike in the Kwaja Burga neighbourhood of Kabul on Saturday. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi AFP via Getty Images

Relatives of 10 Afghans killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month said Saturday they want to see punishment and compensation over the deaths.

Driving the news: The relatives said it's "good news" that the U.S. had "officially admitted" that "they had attacked innocents" in the Aug. 29 strike that killed Zamarai Ahmadi, an aid worker with a U.S.-based group, and nine family members, but they still need "justice," per AFP.