Some workers standing against vaccine mandate at Tyson facilities

Some workers standing against vaccine mandate at Tyson facilities
Some workers standing against vaccine mandate at Tyson facilities(Source: WMC)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 8:25 PM CDT
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NEWBERN, Tenn. (WMC) - Tyson Foods, one of the country’s largest poultry processors, is mandating all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1.

It’s a company decision that’s not sitting well with some workers at one of Tyson’s rural Mid-South facilities.

A group of Tyson employees has been protesting outside the Tyson foods plant in Newbern, Tennessee all day Wednesday. These employees say they’re risking their jobs to fight against the company’s recent decision to require a COVID-19 vaccine for all of their employees.

About a dozen Tyson Foods employees walked off the job Wednesday and protested with signs outside the food plant in Newbern, Tennessee.

The employees would not speak on camera, saying their employee agreements open them up to legal action from Tyson if they do.

One local business owner and friend of the group spoke on their behalf.

“Nobody wants to be pressured to do anything, especially to their own body, that they don’t want to do,” said local business owner Jill Blessing.

Tyson Foods announced last week that all of their 120,000 employees nationwide are required to get vaccinated by Nov. 1 unless they receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons. A representative of Tyson Foods said the following in a statement about this protest:

“The views of our team members matter to us. The head of our COVID response team as well as HR are currently on the ground, listening to concerns and answering any questions team members may have regarding available vaccines.”

“For Tyson to actually say, hey, get the shot or you lose your job, and some of these people, I talked to a girl who has worked here 30 years. And that’s a huge thing to put on somebody when that’s their livelihood,” Blessing said.

According to Tyson, 650 people work at this Tyson Foods plant.

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