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Tyson Foods Hits 96% Worker Vaccination Rate

More than 96% of Tyson Foods workers are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, almost three months after the company mandated inoculation for all of its 120,000 employees, according to The New York Times (subscription).

What’s happening: Tyson, which is offering workers religious and medical exemptions, was among the first large companies to mandate vaccines. When it did so on Aug. 3, less than half the staff were vaccinated.

  • “‘Has this made a difference in the health and safety of our team members? Absolutely,’ [CEO Donnie] King wrote of the vaccine requirement. ‘We’ve seen a significant decline in the number of active cases, companywide.’”

How they did it: “To help encourage vaccination, executives have visited plants to have small group conversations about the vaccines. The company also addressed common myths about the vaccine and took questions from employees at a panel that included two outside physicians.”

  • Said King: “We hit this number thanks to the many, many thousands of individual conversations.”
  • Tyson also reached an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, a representative of several thousand Tyson employees, to support the vaccine mandate in return for increased benefits, such as paid sick leave, for all workers.

The NAM’s reaction: “Manufacturers are committed to ending this pandemic,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Proud to see Tyson prioritize the health and safety of their team members and communities by requiring a COVID-19 vaccine. Together, we can bring an end to this pandemic.”

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