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USA: Lawsuit alleges Tyson Food managers bet on workers getting Covid-19; incl. company comments

"Tyson Food managers bet on workers getting Covid-19, lawsuit says," 20 Nov 2020

The lawsuit, filed this week by the son of an employee who died with Covid-19, claims the company demonstrated "wanton disregard for worker safety"... Tyson has called for an investigation. In a statement, the company said it was "extremely upset" about the accusations and that it had suspended the individuals allegedly involved without pay. "If these claims are confirmed, we'll take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behaviour from our company," the statement said.

... According to court records, the company was advised by the county sheriff to shut the plant as infection spread this spring, but it did not. Tony Thompson, the Black Hawk county sheriff, said the facility's working conditions "shook him to the core", the filing said. "Around this time, Defendant Tom Hart, the Plant Manager of the Waterloo facility, organised a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees would test positive for Covid-19," the lawsuit said. Mr Hart is one of several named defendants, including Tyson Foods chairman John Tyson, CEO Noel White and local managers Cody Brustkern and John Casey. Mr Casey is alleged to have "explicitly directed supervisors to ignore symptoms of Covid-19".

... In its statement on Thursday, Tyson said its "top priority" was the health of its employees, and said it had invested "hundreds of millions of dollars" in its US facilities since the start of the outbreak, putting protective measures like temperature scanners and workstation dividers in place.