GREELEY, Colo. — JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have announced they would provide a $100 incentive bonus to any U.S. team member who voluntarily chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The new initiative is designed to encourage maximum participation in the Biden administration’s accelerated pandemic response efforts and ensure that every JBS USA and Pilgrim’s team member who wants to get vaccinated can do so as soon as vaccines are made available, the companies noted.
“Throughout the pandemic, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have adopted industry-leading measures to protect our essential frontline workers who continue to provide food for the nation,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer, JBS USA. “Our goal in offering this extra pay to our team members is to remove any barriers to vaccination and incentivize our team members to protect themselves, their families and their coworkers. With nearly 66,000 U.S. team members, we are hopeful this initiative will lead to high vaccination participation rates that will benefit our workforce and the rural communities and cities in which they live and work across America.”
The incentive bonus builds on the company’s ongoing commitment to protect the essential workers that continue to provide food for the nation during the global pandemic. The company previously announced the voluntary removal of vulnerable populations from its workforce with full pay and benefits. The policy resulted in the removal of approximately 11 percent of the U.S. workforce. The company also enhanced its health plan to cover 100 percent of the costs associated with COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment for team members and their family members enrolled in the company’s health plan. In addition, free COVID-19 testing has been available for the company’s team members since May 2020.
“In internal surveys, our team members have indicated a willingness to get vaccinated, with participation rates at individual facilities ranging from 60 to 90 percent,” said Chris Gaddis, head of human resources, JBS USA. “We recognize that some team members in our diverse workforce may have concerns or be less inclined to get vaccinated. The incentive bonus is designed to encourage voluntary vaccination and provide an additional measure of support to our team members who have given so much to society and our country during this pandemic.”
JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have launched internal education campaigns to emphasize the safety, efficacy and importance of receiving the vaccine to its workforce. The company maintains regular communication with state and local health departments and healthcare providers to coordinate the most effective means of vaccine delivery at each plant location, and to offer assistance in local vaccination efforts.
Throughout the pandemic, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have implemented a host of safety interventions, including screening and temperature checking prior to facility entry, staggering start times and break times to promote physical distancing, requiring the use of masks and face shields, erecting physical barriers where possible, and installing UV germicidal air sanitation and plasma bipolar ionization technologies to neutralize potential viruses in the air, the company said, adding that it has also conducted more than 35,000 free random surveillance tests of asymptomatic team members to help quickly identify potential introduction of COVID-19 from the community into its plants.
JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have invested more than $200 million in health and safety measures to protect its workforce, more than $160 million in increased wages and bonuses, and $50 million to support local communities through the company’s Hometown Strong initiative.
For more information, visit www.pilgrims.com.