Tyson Foods is among a growing number of companies including Amazon to Walmart that will provide an additional incentive for workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The company is paying up to four hours of regular pay if workers are vaccinated outside of a normal shift or at an external source.
The Springdale-based meat giant offers free onsite COVID-19 vaccinations at its U.S. plants, consistent with prioritization regulations. The company said several hundred employees, mostly health service staff and workers over the age of 65, have already been vaccinated. Tyson expects about 1,000 frontline workers in Illinois, Missouri and Virginia will be vaccinated this week and is prepared to provide free access at other U.S. locations as more doses of the vaccine are made available.
Tyson Foods is partnering with Matrix Medical Network to educate the company’s 120,000 U.S. employees about the vaccines and is working with local and state health officials and approved vaccine providers to access doses, pursuant to prioritization regulations. Vaccinations for Tyson Foods employees are voluntary but highly encouraged.
“This incentive is an additional way we can encourage our frontline workers to receive the vaccination, which we believe is another important protective measure,” said Johanna Söderström, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Tyson Foods. “We’re ready to vaccinate more of our people, especially through the free, on-site vaccination program we’ve developed, however, vaccine availability continues to vary by state.”
Tyson has spent $520 million on direct COVID-19 related costs and is projecting another $440 million will be spent this year on employee work incentives, benefits, expanded health staff and several measures to promote worker safety amid the pandemic.