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UFCW, Tyson: 96% Worker Vaccination Rate After Union and Company Negotiate Vaccine Mandate and First National Paid Sick Leave for Meatpacking Workers

October 26, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the union for 250,000 meatpacking and food processing workers, including 26,000 Tyson Foods workers across the country, announced that over 96 percent of frontline workers are now vaccinated at the company following the union and Tyson’s recent deal on a vaccine mandate that included the first national U.S. agreement to provide paid sick leave to meatpacking workers.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone Statement:

“As the largest union for Tyson workers across the country, UFCW is determined to keep all our members safe from this deadly pandemic, and ensure they are rewarded for their sacrifices. 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. 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.”

Tyson Foods President and CEO Donnie King Note to Frontline Employees:

“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% 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.”

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UFCW International is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org