SPRINGDALE, AR: Tyson Foods has launched a PR offensive in response to a union call for a federal investigation of working conditions at its poultry plants.
SPRINGDALE, AR: Tyson Foods has launched a PR offensive in response
to a union call for a federal investigation of working conditions at its
The food-processing giant has opened the poultry facilities to local
media - an unprecedented move in what has traditionally been a quiet
industry, according to corporate PR manager Ed Nicholson.
In addition to granting reporters this access and responding to
inquiries about safety, the company has also been stepping up internal
communications efforts. For instance, employees can view senior manager
statements on safety policy in streaming video on the company’s Intranet
The labor controversy began when two Tyson employees died at a facility
in Robards, KY earlier this year. This prompted a union request for an
investigation by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA),
which long ago designated the poultry industry as a ’high hazard’
’We have had a long-standing battle with Tyson Foods,’ admitted Jill
Cashen, a spokesperson for the United Food & Commercial Workers
International Union, which represents about 10,000 of Tyson’s 50,000
While Nicholson said it was too early to judge the effectiveness of
Tyson’s response to the accusations, he noted that the company’s
cooperation with the media seems to be working. ’Coverage is more
balanced when (reporters) get a look at our workplace,’ he said.