Tyson rewards frontline workers with over $50M in year-end bonuses | Local news

DAKOTA CITY — Tyson Foods is handing out $50 million in year-end bonuses to its frontline and hourly employees, including 7,850 workers at the meat company’s four plants in Siouxland.

The one-time bonuses for about 80,000 eligible employees will range from $300 to $700, based on tenure, and will be distributed starting this month. 

“This is yet another way for us to say thank you and show how grateful we are for our frontline teams’ efforts to keep each other safe, our company strong and our world fed over the past year,” Tyson President and CEO Donnie King said in a statement Monday. “While 2021 presented many challenges, our entire Tyson team continued to meet them, head on.”

About 3,880 frontline workers at Tyson’s flagship beef plant in Dakota City will be eligible for the bonuses. The sprawling complex is by far the largest employer in metro Sioux City.

About 1,270 employees at Tyson’s pork plant in Madison, Neb., and about 2,700 workers at the company’s pork and turkey plants in Storm Lake, Iowa, also are eligible for the bonuses.

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Tyson said it has invested more than $500 million in wage increases and thank you bonuses for frontline workers over the past year.

With average hourly pay of more than $18, plus the value of medical, dental and vision insurance, vacation and other benefits, the average total compensation for hourly team members has increased to more than $24 an hour, or an annual value of more than $50,000, according to Tyson.

That figure doesn’t include overtime, an option many employees choose, or other incentives. For example, as part of the company’s efforts to protect its U.S. workforce against COVID-19, the company paid $200 to frontline team members who were fully vaccinated.

Tyson said it is looking at other ways to better support its frontline workforce. In addition to pay increases and signing bonuses, it is offering more flexible work schedules at some facilities and, starting Jan. 1, paid sick leave. The company also has opened seven health centers to give frontline team members and their families easier access to high-quality healthcare at, in most cases, no cost. 

“Tyson wants to be the most sought-after place to work, period,” King said. “Our frontline team members tell us higher pay is important, but that’s only a part of the story—they also want more flexibility and more say over their time. In rural parts of the country, they don’t want to have to drive miles to see the doctor. Everything we’re doing is because our team members are the heart of our business and its future success.”

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