Tyson Foods announced this week that it will distribute a total of $50 million in year-end bonuses to its frontline and hourly workers, including 7,850 employees at its meat plants in the Siouxland region, according to the company.
The one-time incentives, which will be handed beginning this month to around 80,000 eligible workers, will range from $300 to $700 depending on their length of service.
As Tyson president and CEO Donnie King said in a statement on Monday, “This is another another opportunity for us to express our gratitude and demonstrate how appreciative we are for our frontline staff’ efforts to keep each colleagues safe, our business strong, and the globe fed over the last year. Although the year 2021 posed several obstacles, our whole Tyson team remained committed to meeting them head-on.”
Those working in the meatpacking business were particularly severely impacted by the virus, which spread fast via companies where people work side by side on production lines.
According to a study issued last autumn by the United States House of Representatives, at least 59,000 meatpacking employees contracted COVID-19, and 269 people died as a result of the virus’ spread across the sector. The estimated total includes employees from the top meat firms, such as Tyson, JBS, Smithfield Foods, Cargill, and National Beef (which was included in the estimate).
The incentives will be available to around 3,880 front-line employees at Tyson’s main cattle facility in Dakota City, South Dakota. The huge facility is by far the most important employer in the greater Sioux City region.
The incentives are also available to around 1,270 employees at Tyson’s pork factory in Madison, Nebraska, as well as approximately 2,700 employees at the company’s pork and turkey factories in Storm Lake, Iowa.
According to the company, hourly team members earn an average hourly wage of more than $18, in addition to medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, and other benefits. The average total compensation for hourly team members has risen to more than $24 an hour, or a yearly value of more than $50,000.