Tyson Foods Inc. said it would require Covid-19 vaccinations for its U.S. workforce of about 120,000, aiming for total vaccination of the meat giant’s employees by Nov. 1.
The Arkansas-based company’s target, which includes both processing plant and corporate office workers, is partly subject to discussions with labor unions that represent around one-third of the company’s hourly workers, Tyson officials said. The company said it would offer a $200 bonus to its front-line workers as an incentive.
Chief Executive Donnie King said the effort is the best way to protect the health of Tyson’s workforce as more contagious and deadly variants of Covid-19 drive infections higher across the country.
“We did not take this decision lightly,” Mr. King wrote in a memo to employees. “We have spent months encouraging our team members to get vaccinated—today, under half of our team members are.”
The move by Tyson, the biggest U.S. meat supplier by sales, comes as some of the nation’s biggest companies tighten vaccination and mask policies in response to rising Covid-19 infections. Morgan Stanley has required employees to be vaccinated before they return to the bank’s offices, and last week Google and Facebook Inc. said they would require all employees at their U.S. campuses to be vaccinated.