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News in brief

September 8, 2021 at 2:15 a.m.

Tyson raises wages

at processing plants

Tyson Foods this week increased starting wages to $15.20 per hour for poultry processing workers in Northwest Arkansas.

The company also began offering an extra $2 per hour for night shifts, a $1,000 sign-on bonus and benefits as a way to recruit and retain workers during the pandemic.

These incentives come a month after Tyson said all workers are required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1. Since then more than 30,000 employees have received vaccinations for covid-19, according to the company. Efforts are underway to get more people on board.

In addition to increased wages, fully vaccinated factory workers get a $200 bonus and can enter a weekly drawing to earn $10,000 this month. They also can earn up to 20 hours of paid sick leave per year, starting next year.

The company has struggled with absenteeism and turnover, as workers grew sick or left for other jobs. Base pay was $12.50 per hour at chicken plants in Rogers and Springdale, before Tyson increased it to $15.20, effective Sunday. Workers can earn up to $17.20 per hour working nights.

-- Nathan Owens

Walmart continues

Hurricane Ida aid

Walmart Inc. is continuing to offer aid to Louisiana residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

The Bentonville-based retailer said its drivers are delivering water and cooking hot meals for residents and employees in need across the state. Walmart has also deployed its "Big Blue" pharmacy trailer so people can still access their prescription medications.

The company is also offering charging stations, laundry services and batteries at various locations, mostly in and around New Orleans.

Walmart posts frequent updates on what help is available and where at https://bit.ly/3yS3EjR.

On Sept. 2, Walmart and Sam's Club started a campaign at their cash registers to raise money for the American Red Cross. Today is the last day of the campaign, in which Walmart will match donations up to $10 million.

Funds raised through the campaign will help the Red Cross support U.S. communities affected this year by hurricanes, fires and flooding.

-- Serenah McKay

Index begins week

with drop of 6.91

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 667.34, down 6.91.

"Tuesday was a mixed day for stocks with the S&P 500 lower and the Nasdaq higher with investors juggling disappointing August payroll data against the Federal Reserve maintaining its accommodative monetary policy," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Print Headline: Tyson raises wages at processing plants Walmart continues Hurricane Ida aid Index begins week with drop of 6.91

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