Tyson Foods is having so much trouble finding labor that it’s taking six days to process the amount of product that it normally can do in five, its CEO says.
Donnie King told a conference call that on any given day, at least 10% of positions at Tyson plants are unfilled. This comes at a time when demand is greater than ever, with foodservice business picking up and no slackening in sales at grocery stores.
Overall, it’s a good situation for Tyson, with net income for the recently concluded third quarter reaching $749 million, a 43% increase from the same quarter last year. Profits from the beef business soared 73%; the operating margin rose from 17.8% to 22.6%. Total sales for the quarter were $12.3 billion, a 25% increase.
Nevertheless, Tyson will probably have to raise prices in the near future, King said, citing higher costs for labor, animal feed and other expenses.
Tyson drew attention for announcing early this month that it would require vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees as a condition of employment. King said that the reaction by workers has been mixed, but claimed that about 5,400 employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine since the mandate announcement.