Mainstream News

Tyson fires seven managers at Iowa pork plant tied to 'betting pool' of how many employees would get COVID-19

CLOSETyson fires seven managers at Iowa pork plant tied to
'betting pool' of how many employees would get COVID-19 1

Pandemics like the coronavirus can have crippling effects on our food supply. The bottleneck starts from the processing plants. USA TODAY

DES MOINES – Tyson Foods said Wednesday it’s firing seven employees at its Waterloo pork processing plant following an investigation into allegations that managers and supervisors made bets on the number of workers who would be sickened by the coronavirus.

[vc_row][vc_column][us_carousel post_type="ids" ids="260184, 260250, 107361" orderby="post__in" items_quantity="3" items_layout="11024" columns="3" items_gap="5px" overriding_link="post" breakpoint_1_cols="4" breakpoint_2_cols="3" breakpoint_3_cols="2"][/vc_column][/vc_row]
{ "slotId": "7483666091", "unitType": "in-article", "pubId": "pub-9300059770542025" }

Arkansas-based Tyson last month hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the gaming allegations after they were raised in wrongful death lawsuits filed by families of workers who died of COVID-19.

The managers’ betting scheme occurred early in the pandemic as the coronavirus began tearing through the Waterloo plant, where about 1,000 of 2,800 workers tested positive for it in early May.

Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks said in a statement Wednesday that “behaviors exhibited by these individuals do not represent the Tyson core values.”

Tyson “took immediate and appropriate action to get to the truth. Now that the investigation has concluded, we are taking action based on the findings,” Banks said.

“We value our people and expect everyone on the team, especially our leaders, to operate with integrity and care in everything we do,” he said.

[vc_row height="auto" width="full" css="%7B%22default%22%3A%7B%22margin-left%22%3A%220%22%2C%22margin-top%22%3A%220%22%2C%22margin-bottom%22%3A%220%22%2C%22margin-right%22%3A%220%22%2C%22padding-left%22%3A%220%22%2C%22padding-top%22%3A%220%22%2C%22padding-bottom%22%3A%220%22%2C%22padding-right%22%3A%220%22%7D%7D"][vc_column][us_page_block id="48000"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company would not release the names of employees who were fired, citing privacy concerns.

“We can tell you that Mr. Holder and his team looked specifically at the gaming allegations and found sufficient evidence for us to terminate those involved,” he said in an email.

Lawyers representing the families of five deceased Tyson workers said plant manager Tom Hart organized a “cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool” among other managers and supervisors.

The betting allegations were included in an amended complaint the attorneys filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on Nov. 11.

Upon learning of the allegations, Tyson said Banks and others immediately traveled to Waterloo to meet with plant team members and community leaders “to reinforce Tyson’s commitment to them and the community.” They returned to the plant Wednesday.

“The commitment and passion that our team members exhibit every day is core to who we are at Tyson,” Banks said. “We were very upset to learn of the behaviors found in the allegations, as we expect our leaders to treat all team members with the highest levels of respect and integrity.”

“That’s why we have asked former Attorney General Eric Holder and his team to partner with Tyson to help us as we continue to look for ways to enhance a trusting and respectful workplace.”

Tyson said its top priority “is and remains the health and safety of our team members.”

Follow Des Moines reporter Donnelle Eller on Twitter: @DonnelleE.

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Read or Share this story:

Mainstream News

Prepare Now Before its too Late

Discover where products are available & compare prices

Dark Skin Can Lead To Errors With Pulse Oximeters Used In COVID-19 Treatment
Alaska healthcare worker suffers allergic reaction to Covid-19 vaccine

{ "slotId": "6776584505", "unitType": "responsive", "pubId": "pub-9300059770542025", "resize": "auto" }
You might also like
{ "slotId": "8544127595", "unitType": "responsive", "pubId": "pub-9300059770542025", "resize": "auto" }