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Progress for Tyson Food Workers

Tyson Foods pledged last week to build a better workplace for its 95,000 workers. The promise came after a long campaign by hunger-fighting coalition Oxfam America, which challenged four large chicken producers—Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms—to improve on their worker safety, poverty-level wages, and anti-union attitudes.

Though the other companies have so far refused to engage with the Oxfam-led coalition, Tyson has pledged to: improve worker illness/injury 15% year-over-year; improve company retention by 10%; hire more safety trainers; shorten the time required for new workers to move to higher pay rates; and expand company-wide programs to improve worker health and well-being.

“Tyson Foods’ commitment to worker safety and worker rights shouldn’t just be applauded—it should serve as a model for the rest of the industry,” says United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) president Marc Perrone. UFCW is the largest union at Tyson, representing around 24,000 workers.