Latest News

Working people are here, ready to fight for their rights! Strike at Tyson Foods, Arkansas.

During the month of March, Tyson Foods announced that it plans to close two U.S. poultry  plants and lay off 1,700 workers, effective May 12, 2023. One of these plants is located in Van Buren, Arkansas and the other in Glen Allen, Virginia.

The Van Buren facility employed 969 people, some of whom resigned upon hearing the news. Those who stayed were offered a $1,000 bonus, and many have been working several jobs simultaneously to cope with the decrease in pay.

However, workers have organized. They have denounced Tyson’s decision to implement the following new rules:

  • Those who miss 3 consecutive days of work will be fired;

  • Workers may not use vacation time; and

  • Tyson will not pay workers 100% of unused vacation time at the end of their employment. 

Some of the workers who decided to stay have worked for Tyson for 10 to 20 years, but will not receive severance pay if they are let go. Meanwhile, corporate workers do receive a severance package based on years of service.

For these reasons, on Monday, April 10, workers at Tyson's Van Buren plant went on STRIKE, with the following demands: 

  • 100% of accrued vacation time must be paid in full.

  • Tyson must pay a severance package based on the employee's years of work.

  • Tyson must assume responsibility for workers' compensation claims for injuries arising from increased workloads. 

As of Tuesday, April 11, a committee delivered the petition with more than 300 signatures from working people; they continue to receive more signatures. 

During a meeting with management, the workers were able to get the plant to commit to paying workers 100% vacation time in pay. However, management responded that workers in the processing area cannot enjoy the same policies as corporate or management employees; therefore, they will only get a $1,000 bonus. 

Sadly, protein processing workers are often invisible in the food chain. Their work is demanding, dangerous and poorly paid. During the pandemic, they suffered greatly due to the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, while their employers resisted implementing even the most basic protective measures. 

Venceremos, a grassroots Latino workers' organization in Arkansas that seeks to ensure the human rights of workers in the poultry industry, is leading this movement alongside workers. 

Tyson has a contract to complete before this plant closes, so this is an opportunity to support the workers who are organizing for labor justice. Venceremos invites you to TAKE ACTION in the following ways: 

Photo from @VenceremosAR Twitter y @NationalCOSH Twitter. Here