Tyson raising pay to keep up as US chicken demand soars

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FILE – In this July 30, 2001, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to Tyson Foods headquarters in Springdale, Ark. Tyson Foods says it is raising wages to combat absenteeism and worker turnover at its plants as U.S. demand for chicken soars. The Springdale, Arkansas-based company said Monday, May 10, 2021, that absentee rates are around 50% higher than they were before the pandemic. (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)

ARKANSAS — Tyson Foods says it’s raising wages to combat absenteeism and worker turnover at its plants as U.S. demand for chicken soars.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company said Monday that absentee rates are around 50% higher than they were before the pandemic. The company says government stimulus payments, health care concerns and child care issues are making it harder to keep workers.

Tyson said it has vaccinated around 42,000 workers, and it’s raising pay and offering more flexible schedules.

U.S. meatpacking workers were among those hard hit by the pandemic. Last year, the families of three Tyson workers in Iowa who died from COVID-19 sued the company, saying it knowingly put employees at risk in the early days of the outbreak.

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