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Tyson Foods BOYCOTTED as it sacks 1,300 staff at Iowa pork plant and offers ‘job-and-lawyer’ packages in bid to hire 42,000 asylum seekers in New York

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Angry shoppers are boycotting Tyson Foods products as the $53-million meat firm shutters plants in Iowa and elsewhere while hiring thousands of asylum seekers at job fairs in New York.

Campaigners are urging consumers to stop buying Tyson products amid its wave of closures of poultry- and meat-processing plants across Iowa, Virginia, Arkansas, Indiana, and Missouri.

They point to Tyson’s efforts to hire thousands of asylum seekers in New York, offering $16.50-an-hour wages and free immigration lawyers, accusing the firm of ditching US-born workers for cheaper migrant labor.

America First Legal, a conservative action group launched by former Trump administration officials, warned Tyson that it could be breaking the law by favoring foreign-born workers over Americans.

Tyson seeks to double its number of immigrant employees to 84,000 this year, including roles at this plant in Springdale, Arkansas 

Tyson Foods says it wants to hire 42,000 immigrants this year and offers 'job-and-lawyer' packages to new arrivals in New York

Tyson Foods says it wants to hire 42,000 immigrants this year and offers ‘job-and-lawyer’ packages to new arrivals in New York 

‘It is ILLEGAL under federal law to discriminate against American citizens based on their citizenship in favor of non-citizens of any kind when it comes to employment,’ the legal action group posted online.

Tyson Foods, based in Springdale, Arkansas, which made $52,881 million in sales last year through its Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, Aidells, and other brands, did not answer DailyMail.com’s requests for comment.

The boycott raises tough questions for Tyson’s $13 million-a-year CEO Donnie King, who has led the firm since 2021, during which time it has funded the campaign chests of President Joe Biden, Nikki Haley and others, according to Open Secrets. 

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The case spotlights fears about migration across the US-Mexico border, and that asylum seekers are replacing Americans, especially in meat-packing and other undesirable jobs amid record low unemployment.

Tyson this week said it would shutter its pork plant in Perry, Iowa, this summer, putting 1,276 people out of work in a town of just 8,000.

About half of the plant’s workers are understood to be Latino, according to local news outlets.

Last May, Tyson Foods closed two facilities in Virginia and Arkansas that employed more than 1,600 people. In April, it announced plans to cut 10 percent of corporate jobs and 15 percent of executives.

Plants in North Little Rock, Arkansas; Corydon, Indiana; and Dexter and Noel, Missouri are set to end operations in the first half of 2024, following a 0.8 percent slump in the company’s sales between 2022-2023.

Tyson meanwhile has moved to hire more of the asylum seekers who headed to New York and other cities after entering the US, seeking to fill undesirable jobs amid a low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.

Tyson’s $13 million-a-year CEO Donnie King has led the company since 2021

Tyson’s $13 million-a-year CEO Donnie King has led the company since 2021

Conservatives on social media called for a boycott of Tyson and its various food brands

Conservatives on social media called for a boycott of Tyson and its various food brands

Tyson is America's biggest meat and poultry firm, by sales, which dropped by 0.8 percent to $52,881 million last year

Tyson is America’s biggest meat and poultry firm, by sales, which dropped by 0.8 percent to $52,881 million last year

Tyson's pork plant in Perry, Iowa, is the latest to be mothballed, with 1,300 jobs lost

Tyson’s pork plant in Perry, Iowa, is the latest to be mothballed, with 1,300 jobs lost 

The meat-packer already employs about 42,000 immigrants among its 120,000-strong US workforce, and seeks to boost this by cooperating with the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a nonprofit, among other efforts.

‘We would like to employ another 42,000 if we could find them,’ Garrett Dolan, who leads Tyson’s social efforts, told Bloomberg recently.

In recent weeks, the company hired dozens of asylum seekers from Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia at a job fair in New York City. They travelled to work at its poultry plant in Humboldt, Tennessee.

According to Dolan, asylum seekers fill the gaps at plants with a high turnover of staff — the company needs to fill 52,000 jobs this year.

Executives offer pay starting at $16.50 an hour, with paid-for immigration lawyers and other perks. 

A large portion of new hires ‘are going to come from refugees and immigrants, so we’re now in the business of strategically thinking that through,’ Dolan said.

Asylum seekers cannot work upon entering the US, and typically don’t get permits until 180 days after they apply for legal status.

Many wait for years before their first immigration court hearing to judge their asylum claim, during which time they can work.

Workers, including many Latinos, have protested Tyson's plant closures, like this one in Van Buren, Arkansas, in April 2023

Workers, including many Latinos, have protested Tyson’s plant closures, like this one in Van Buren, Arkansas, in April 2023

Tyson Foods brands include Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, and Aidells

Tyson Foods brands include Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, and Aidells

In a bid to help its migrant employees, Tyson has spent millions of dollars on immigration lawyers and offers paid time off to attend court hearings.

Many also benefit from temporary housing, onsite childcare, transportation and English classes.

Tyson in 2022 agreed to hire 2,500 refugees under the Tent program.

The firm increased that last year by 150 hires, including 50 Afghan refugees to work in Arkansas, including in Fayetteville, Springdale, and Bentonville.

The boycott underscores fears that Americans are losing jobs to economic migrants from overseas, who drive down blue collar wages.

Data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that between July and August 2023, there was a staggering decrease of 1.2 million native-born people in the workforce.

In stark contrast, some 688,000 jobs were secured by foreign-born workers, underlining the difference in President Joe Biden’s pro-migration policies versus Donald Trump’s tough border stance.

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