SPRINGDALE, AR — Tyson Foods announced Tuesday it will pay approximately $60 million in “thank you” bonuses to 116,000 frontline workers and Tyson truckers in the US who support the company’s operations every day to provide food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible team members will receive a $500 bonus, payable during the first week of July. The bonuses are in addition to other company-announced efforts to support workers, plant communities and livestock producers during the global pandemic.
“We’re proud of how our team members have stepped up during this challenging time to make sure we continue fulfilling our critical mission of feeding people across America,” said Tyson Foods CEO Noel White. “Our company recently relaxed our attendance policy and we encourage our team members to stay at home if they’re exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 infection. We’re taking additional precautionary measures, such as daily temperature checks at all our facilities and daily cleaning with extra sanitizing in high traffic areas.
“Our team members are leading the charge to continue providing food to the nation,” White added. “The bonuses are another way we can say ‘thank you’ for their efforts.”
The payments are in addition to other changes Tyson Foods has made to protect and support workers and ensure continuity in the US food system.
The company is restricting visitor access to its facilities and relaxed its attendance policy to reinforce the importance of staying home when sick or to meet childcare needs. It has implemented the use of temporal thermometers to check the temperature of team members before they enter company facilities and expects delivery of infrared temperature scanners following a successful trial. In addition, the company is offering protective face coverings for production workers who request them and is working with the CDC on additional guidance on the use of personal protective equipment.
Tyson Foods, which has mandatory health care coverage, is waiving the 5 consecutive day waiting period for short term disability benefits, so workers can receive pay while they’re sick with the flu or COVID-19. In addition, it is:
- Waiving the co-pay, co-insurance and deductible for doctor visits for COVID-19 testing as well as eliminating pre-approval or preauthorization steps.
- Waiving co-pays for the use of telemedicine.
- Relaxing refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medication.
The company recently announced it has committed $13 million to support critical needs in local communities where the company operates in response to the pandemic. This includes $2 million in grants that will be allocated to non-profit organizations to help support Tyson team members and the local community. Investments will be focused on non-profit partners providing emergency response efforts such as rent and utility assistance, food distribution, health care, childcare, small business support and other economic recovery services.
In an effort to help cattle feeders weather the impact of the pandemic, Tyson Fresh Meats also provided a one-time premium for cattle harvested the week of March 23.