Tyson raising starting pay at plants in Carroll County

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Tyson Foods employees in Carroll County will see a bit of a pay raise on their next paychecks.

According to complex human resources manager Mike Armstrong, starting pay at the company’s three local plants is being increased to $15 an hour for daytime shifts and $17 for night shifts.

The raise in base pay will apply to both new and existing employees.

“Our base rate, which is our starting pay regardless of what shift, was $13.40, but we pay a $2 shift premium for people that work nights,” Armstrong said. “Now that we’ve raised our base pay to $15, the start pay on days would be 15 and start pay on nights would be 17.”

“This is what we got approved for our three plants in Carroll County.”

Armstrong said the reasoning behind the raise was two-fold.

“Mainly, our goal is to retain the team members we have and attract the additional applicants that we need to be fully staffed,” Armstrong said, adding that new employees also may qualify for a $2,000 sign-on bonus.

Two weeks ago, Tyson announced that it would be requiring all company employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. In a memo to employees, company president CEO Donnie King called the effort to get all employees vaccinated “the single most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Armstrong said the vaccine mandate has been generally well received and the company continues to educate its workers on the merits of being more protected against the novel coronavirus.

“All in all, it has been received fairly positively by our team members,” Armstrong said. “We’ve got some that are certainly reluctant, but we’ve been trying to educate people as to getting the vaccines and the various vaccines available. We’ve got a lot of people that have stepped forward getting it, and we’ve still got some that are still considering it.”

The three Tyson plants in Carroll County — one in Berryville and two in Green Forest — employ approximately 2,627 people. As a whole, Tyson is the largest U.S. food company to require COVID-19 vaccinations for its entire workforce.

The company’s new policy states that all leadership — officers and above — must be vaccinated by Sept. 24, all employees in office by Oct. 1 and all other employees by Nov. 1. All new hires must be vaccinated before their scheduled start dates.

Since February, Tyson Foods has hosted more than 100 vaccination events for employees across the country and more than 56,000 U.S. team members have been vaccinated so far. Additional onsite vaccination events will be scheduled, and the company will continue to collaborate with local health departments and healthcare providers to make the vaccine more accessible.

Exceptions to the vaccination mandate will involve workers who seek medical or religious accommodation.

Tyson announced Monday, Aug. 9, that it recorded $12.48 billion in revenue for its fiscal third quarter that ended July 3. That is an increase of 24.5 percent over the third quarter of 2020. The company’s earnings per share increased by 42 percent over the previous year, to $2.05 per share, and its net income of $753 million for the quarter was an increase of more than 43 percent from 2020.

Information for this article was contributed by Carroll County News managing editor Scott Loftis.

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