In the early part of the pandemic, COVID outbreaks were rampant at many US meatpacking plants.
A study published in April, 2021 has attributed 334,000 total virus cases to meatpacking, costing rural economies more than $11 billion in healthcare costs, deaths and lost wages.
According to the United Food and Commercial Workers union, at least 132 of their meatpacking union members have died from the virus to date.
Tyson Foods, the manufacturer responsible for producing around 20 percent of the beef, pork and chicken products sold in the US, has announced a new position on vaccines.
The company says it will require its 120,000 US workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Tyson says, currently, fewer than half of its employees are fully vaccinated.
The meat company will offer frontline workers a $200 bonus for getting the shot, and continues to offer 4 hours of paid time off for the process.
In a company memo, CEO Donnie King called vaccinations “the single most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.”