Tyson Foods Fires Managers Who Gambled with Lives of Workers

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Meat processing company Tyson Foods dismissed seven managers who had placed bets on how many employees at the company’s processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa would contract covid-19.

Tyson Foods Sacks Managers over Betting on Employees Contracting Covid

We are all trying to make the best of a difficult situation, but Tyson Foods managers who took bets on how many employees would end up contracting covid-19 went a little too far. To the credit of Tyson Foods, a meat processing plant in Iowa, all seven managers implicated in the immoral practice were sacked on the spot, the company announced on Wednesday.

All of the affected managers were based in the company’s facility in Waterloo. In an official statement, Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks said that the company and executives valued the lives and hard work of team members and there was no place for people who perverted the core values of the company.

Banks said that Tyson Foods was determined to get to the truth and had arrived at a quick verdict in the case of the managers who engaged in the practice, specifying:

“The behavior exhibited by these individuals do not represent the Tyson core values, which is why we took immediate and appropriate action to get to the truth.”

-Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks

The behavior showed by managers was even more painful in the context of a lawsuit against the wrongful death of an employee, Isidro Fernandez. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that management had failed to ensure the safety of operation of employees, leading to 1,000 infections, out of a total workforce of 2,800 strong employees at the Waterloo facility alone.

Based on the lawsuit, the manager had “organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees would test positive for COVID-19.”

To Dean’s credit and that of the Tyson Foods brands, however, the company has undertaken swift action, hiring Covington & Burling LLP and former Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the allegations.

Once the matter was brought to the CEO’s attention, Banks has not hesitated to travel and visit the plant in-person, meeting with workers and vowing his team’s commitment to upholding the health and safety at the plant.

During the visit, Banks reaffirmed that every member of the team must be treated with the highest level of respect and dignity. During a visit to the plant, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said that he was shaken to the core at the sight of the conditions in which thousands of employees had been forced to work.

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