NATIONAL – Tyson Foods announced it is raising wages to combat absenteeism and worker turnover at its plants as U.S. demand for chicken soars.
The Arkansas-based company, which processes 20% of US beef, chicken, and pork, said the absentee rate is 50% higher than it was before the pandemic.
The company blames health concerns and child care issues – as well as government stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment benefits for the increased absentee rates.
To combat the virus concerns, Tyson started vaccinating its employees back in February. So far the company has vaccinated some 42-thousand workers or about one-third of its workforce.
Tyson also said it was offering raises and more flexible scheduling in order to keep the plants staffed. Executives wouldn’t say how much they were raising pay, and a spokesperson didn’t have further details.
The move comes as staffing issues slowed production while restaurants like KFC, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s are reopening, causing a skyrocketing demand for chicken.