Tyson Foods

Courtesy / Facing South

On Feb. 5th, Facing South published an article by Olivia Paschal titled "Emails show Tyson's sway over Arkansas mayor during COVID surge in plants." In it, Paschal lays out what she found after sorting through thousands of emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Courtesy / Venceremos

This week, a Democrat-led House panel launched a probe into coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants around the country. On Monday, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent letters to Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS USA requesting information on the number of sick employees, facility closures, safety measures and leave policies for when workers tested positive.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

The day after Tyson Foods released the results of its facility-wide COVID-19 testing initiative, protesters with Venceremos marched through downtown Springdale to demand that Governor Asa Hutchinson briefly shutdown Northwest Arkansas's poultry plants to allow workers to quarantine.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Magaly Licolli, the cofounder of Venceremos, and Mireya Reith, the founding executive director of Arkansas United, are calling on state leaders to act as COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the Latinx community, which makes up a large portion of the workforce at Northwest Arkansas's poultry plants.

J. Froelich / KUAF

The social justice group Venceremos recently tried to deliver petitions signed by nearly 200 line workers to the plant manager of a Tyson poultry slaughterhouse on Berry Street in Springdale. The petitioners are seeking comprehensive coronavirus workplace protections.

Z. Sitek / KUAF

Tyson Foods unveiled its Manufacturing Automation Center in downtown Springdale last week. The state-of-the-art facility is designed to help the company develop more automation and robotics for its food processing plants.

A. GrAJEDA / KUAF

Tyson Foods is donating 110,000 pounds of protein to the NWA Food Bank as part of its Miles that Matter program. The Springdale-based company has donated 9 million pounds, making it the largest protein donor to the food bank.

For the last five years, Tyson Foods' Upward Academy has offered ESL, GED and citizenship courses and assistance to the employees at its plants. The program began in 2014 in Springdale and has since spread to dozens of plants across the country. Next year, Tyson also plans to pilot digital and financial literacy courses with the goal of providing employees with more opportunities, which has yielded higher attendance and retention rates throughout the company.

 

Industrial agriculture has a distinct impact on the environment. According to Mighty Earth, meat production directly contributes to water pollution. Mighty Earth is a national grassroots organization that focuses on environmental issues. The group is holding a rally for clean water on Nov. 30 at the Tyson Headquarters in Springdale as part of the "NWA Clean it Up, Tyson" campaign. 

J. Froelich / KUAF

Tyson Foods and Ozark Literacy Council are collaborating on a pilot program to provide immigrant and migrant workers literacy skills--at the worksite, both before and after hours. We take you to a meatpacking plant in Springdale to meet the teachers and observe a class in session.

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