Tyson’s announcement that it would require vaccinations across its corporate offices, packing houses and poultry plants, many of which are situated in the South and Midwest where resistance to the vaccines is high, was arguably the boldest mandate in the corporate world.
“We made the decision to do the mandate, fully understanding that we were putting our business at risk,” Tyson’s chief executive, Donnie King, said in an interview last week. “This was very painful to do.”
But it was also bad for business when Tyson had to shut facilities because of virus outbreaks. Since announcing the policy, roughly 60,500 employees have received the vaccine, and more than 96 percent of its work force is vaccinated.
Tyson’s experience shows how vaccine mandates in the workplace can be persuasive. It comes as the Biden administration set a Jan. 4 deadline requiring vaccines — or weekly testing — at companies with 100 or more workers.