(RTTNews) - Arkansas-based meat packaging company Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) announced on Tuesday that all employees need to be vaccinated as the Delta variant of coronavirus ravages the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made it clear that the Delta variant is significantly stronger than the original virus and it can spread more rapidly and stay active in the hosts' body for a longer period of time, making it extremely deadly. The watchdog has asked the government to not take the threat lightly.
As multiple big-box retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, and McDonald's reintroduce their mask mandates in the 'high-risk zones', Tyson Food has decided to take serious steps to make its 120,000-strong team safe.
The statement said, "As people have heard, new variants of COVID-19 are more contagious, more deadly, and responsible for most cases in America today. In some communities, doctors and hospitals are once again overwhelmed, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting nearly all hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. are among those who are unvaccinated. It is abundantly clear that getting vaccinated is the single most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities."
Tyson also added deadlines by which the employees need to get vaccinated. For the leadership, the date is September 24 and for office members, it is October 1, and for the rest of the team, by November 1.
New hires will have to be vaccinated before joining. However, the company will allow exceptions for unavoidable medical and religious circumstances.
The frontline workers, who will be vaccinated and verified by the Vaccination Verification Program, will get $200. This move is to encourage more and more workers to get vaccinated.
The statement also noted that the dates for the employees and the remuneration are subject to negotiation with the union. The United Food and Commercial Workers, a union that represents 24000 Tyson employees, said that there are certain concerns about the company mandate which will be discussed in a meeting.
In an interview with CNBC, UFCW international president Marc Perrone said, "We believe the FDA must provide full approval of the vaccines and help address some of the questions and concerns that workers have. Additionally, employers should provide paid time off so that their essential workers can receive the vaccine without having to sacrifice their pay, and can rest as needed while their body adjusts to the vaccine and strengthens their immune system to fight off the virus."
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