UPDATE 1-JBS USA, Pilgrim's Pride offer $100 to U.S. employees who get COVID-19 vaccine

(Adds details on JBS survey of employees)

CHICAGO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Meatpacker JBS USA and chicken company Pilgrim's Pride Corp said on Thursday they will pay $100 to U.S. employees who voluntarily receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The bonus is intended to encourage employees to get inoculations, after thousands of U.S. meatpacking workers became infected with the coronavirus last year. Outbreaks of the disease temporarily shut slaughterhouses in the spring, pushing up meat prices and tightening supplies for consumers.

JBS USA and Pilgrim's Pride said internal surveys showed 60% to 90% of employees at individual facilities were willing to be vaccinated. The companies launched education campaigns to promote the vaccine.

"We recognize that some team members in our diverse workforce may have concerns or be less inclined to get vaccinated," said Chris Gaddis, JBS USA's head of human resources.

JBS USA is the U.S. arm of Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA and Pilgrim's Pride is mostly owned by JBS SA.

Rival meatpacker Tyson Foods Inc said last week it will strongly encourage employees to be vaccinated. (Reporting by Tom Polansek Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Rosalba O'Brien)

01/21/2021 21:34

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