Fired Tyson manager on betting on employee COVID tests: ‘It was simply something fun . . . a morale boost’

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many problems in American society.

We learned just how vulnerable the working classes are economically, with many living paycheck to paycheck and unable to weather a pandemic.

We learned that the ultrarich can make obscene amounts of money during a pandemic with virtually none of it ‘trickling down’ to workers.

And we learned that the entire economy would grind to a halt were it not for essential workers. Yet those workers got very little in bonuses or protection in return.

But one of the more unconscionable things we witnessed was the attitude of management towards employees. And, arguably, none was more repulsive than that of seven Tyson food managers who literally bet on the number of plant employees that would get COVID-19.

Their excuse? They said it was a “morale boost.”

According to the Associated Press, an “office pool involved roughly $50 cash, which went to the winner who picked the correct percentage of workers testing positive for the virus . . . [According to a manager], those involved didn’t believe the pool violated company policy and thought the plant’s positivity rate would be lower than the community rate due to their mitigation efforts.

‘It was a group of exhausted supervisors that had worked so hard and so smart to solve many unsolvable problems,’ [the manager] said. ‘It was simply something fun, kind of a morale boost for having put forth an incredible effort. There was never any malicious intent. It was never meant to disparage anyone.'”

For more on this story, visit the Associated Press here.


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