The people of Tyson Foods, Noel, Missouri, have faced challenges in recent weeks and months that are unprecedented in our lifetimes. Our usual gatherings for religious services, social gatherings and even grocery shopping have completely changed. We have a saying that says, “It doesn’t matter where you are from, when you are here, you are a part of the Tyson Noel Family.” As the Complex Manager at Noel, I have never been prouder of my Tyson Foods family than during this time.
Covid-19 has changed a lot of things, but at our core, taking care of our team members has always been, and will continue to be, the first priority of Tyson Foods. Maintaining a safe work environment and ensuring our team members are safe and productive is at the forefront of my mind every single day.
I assure you that we are working hard to protect our team members during this ever-changing situation, while also ensuring we continue fulfilling our critical role of helping feed people across the country and keeping thousands employed. We check all our team member’s temperatures and require they wear protective face coverings. We’ve implemented social distancing measures, such as installing workstation dividers and barriers in our breakrooms, and we are deep cleaning our facilities daily. In March, we relaxed our attendance policy to encourage people to stay home when they’re sick and we continue to remind them to follow CDC guidelines at home as well as at work.
Our team members have mandatory health care coverage and we’ve made changes by waiving a five consecutive day waiting period for Short Term Disability and increased coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30, 2020, so employees can receive pay while they’re sick with the flu or COVID-19. In addition, we’re waiving the co-pay, co-insurance and deductible for doctor visits for COVID-19 testing as well as eliminating pre-approval or preauthorization steps. We’ve waived co-pays for the use of telemedicine and are relaxing refill limits for 30-day prescriptions of maintenance medication.
Also, the company is now offering $120 million in “thank you bonuses” for 116,000 U.S. frontline workers and truckers, up from the $60 million announced in early April. The company is moving up the first $500 bonus payment to early May. The second $500 bonus will be paid in July. And I’ve heard lots of thank you for the bonus that was paid out already!
No one should be fearful to go to work. Because our plant is already laser focused on food safety efforts, I believe it’s one of the safest places for a person to be. I want everyone in this community to know we are committed to maintaining a safe working environment at Tyson Foods.
It’s during these times of uncertainty when communities come together to support and help one another and we’re proud to be part of a community that does just that. We have donated protein to the Noel Primary School, Anderson Nursing Home, Noel Fire Department, Noel Marshall Department, the Gravette, Arkansas Upper Elementary School, and Restoration Life Center in Neosho, Missouri. We also provide our team members with a weekly protein giveaway to help them stay stocked up at home.
I am very privileged and humbled to be the Complex Manager in this community and I am proud that my Tyson family continues to come to work and operate at full production capacity, producing wholesome products that Feed the World.
Thank you, Tyson team members, for all you do!
Tyson Foods Complex Manager