Tyson Foods announced that it has achieved nearly full vaccination of its active workforce. President and CEO Donnie King released the news in a note to team members. The full note is below.
Throughout the pandemic, your health and safety has been our top priority. We have used every tool at our disposal to help keep you safe. And getting vaccinated is the single most effective tool to protect you, your families, and our communities against the COVID-19 virus. That’s why we decided, in August, to require all U.S. team members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1.
We couldn’t be happier to let you know that, as of today, over 96 percent of our active team members are vaccinated – or nearly 60,000 more than when we made the announcement on August 3. This is an incredible result – not only for our company, but for your families and our communities across the country.
And it’s due entirely to all of you: we hit this number thanks to the many, many thousands of individual conversations. To the laser focus of our operational leadership, health and safety and HR teams – and in particular, the leaders at our facilities. And not least, it is thanks to the dedication and courage of thousands of our team members, who stepped up and signed up to keep themselves, their families and their communities better protected against this deadly virus. Like many of you, I have worked at this company for decades, and I would be hard-pressed to think of a time when we came together as we did over the past few weeks. We did this together, and we should all be incredibly proud. Thank you, to all of you.
I have also received many notes from team members who have helped convince others in their family, and in their community, to get vaccinated. Wherever you live, if you are one of these people, know that you have made your community safer. Thank you.
Has this made a difference in the health and safety of our team members? Absolutely. We’ve seen a significant decline in the number of active cases, companywide.
I’d also like to say to those who remain unvaccinated – this is your choice, and we respect that choice. If you change your mind and want to rejoin Tyson – let us know. Our doors are open.
The pandemic is not over, and we haven’t yet won the race. But we know we’re in it together, and our future is bright.
Once again, and on behalf of our entire leadership team – thank you.
To better protect its team members and their families and communities from the impact of the COVID-19 virus, Tyson Foods announced on August 3, 2021, that it would require COVID-19 vaccinations for its U.S. workforce by November 1, 2021. The decision made Tyson Foods the largest U.S. food company, and the only one in the industry, to require such vaccinations.
To help encourage vaccination, Tyson executives visited plants to have small group conversations about the vaccines, says The New York Times. The company talked about common vaccine myths and did a Q&A with employees at a panel that included two physicians.
Tyson is offering religious or medical accommodations for employees for the mandate ad does not have a cutoff date for evaluating those considerations. The company will assess requests “based on careful consideration of the individual facts and our commitment to the safety of our employees.” Some unvaccinated employees granted exemptions, though, will be placed on leave.
The company also negotiated an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers union to endorse the mandate in return for more benefits for all workers, like paid sick leave. The union’s president, Marc Perrone, applauded the vaccination efforts.
“Working together, the UFCW and Tyson set a new standard with this vaccine mandate, and have proved what’s possible when we listen to workers and negotiate the implementation of vaccination mandates fairly and responsibly,” Mr. Perrone said in a statement.
“We urge every company, across this country, to do what is right by their frontline workers and work cooperatively with their unions and employees to help end this pandemic and keep all of America’s essential workers and their families safe,” he added.
Source: Tyson Foods, The New York Times