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Tyson Foods slapped with ‘refuse to buy’ branding after hiring migrant workers: ‘Should have known better’

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A conservative investment fund group is pulling its holdings of Tyson Foods over the meat and poultry giant’s hiring of migrant and refugee workers — claiming the employment practice will repel customers.

The American Conservative Values ETF, an exchange-traded fund managed by Ridgeline Research LLC, divested from the company and slapped a “refuse to buy” rating on its stocks for its clientele.

“We believe Tyson’s management has blundered into a political minefield (and should have known better),” Ridgeline founder and CEO Bill Flaig told Fox Business on Monday.

American Conservative Values ETF is pulling its holdings on Tyson Foods due to them hiring migrants and refugees. Corbis via Getty Images

Many Americans are outraged by the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border and learning Tyson is giving jobs to asylum-seekers could be enough for them to stop buying the company’s products, according to the CEO.

“The risk of alienating a significant percentage of their customers outweighs any potential economic benefit,” Flaig said. “In a recent Pew Research poll, 80% of U.S. adults say the U.S. government is doing a bad job of handling the migrant influx.”

Ridgeline founder Bill Flaig said Tyson’s management waded into a political minefield, adding that the risk of alienating a significant percentage of their customers outweighs any potential economic benefit. ACVETFS

He claimed Tyson could become the next victim of angry Americans voting with their wallets.

“We have seen the negative impact of alienating customers recently with Bud Light and Target and by divesting we are protecting our shareholders,” he said.

But Tyson is defending its hiring practices, noting that it only employs people legally authorized to work in the US as it tries to dispel growing misinformation online about its workforce.

“In recent days, there has been a lot of misinformation in the media about our company, and we feel compelled to set the record straight. Any insinuation that we would cut American jobs to hire immigrant workers is completely false,” the food giant said in a statement.

Tyson said it only employs people legally authorized to work in the US, as they aim to dispel growing misinformation online about its workforce. AP

“Tyson Foods is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, and we led the way in participating in the two major government programs to help employers combat unlawful employment, E-Verify and the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program,” the statement continued.

The alleged falsehoods about the company spread after Bloomberg News reported last week that “Tyson is hiring New York immigrants for jobs no one else wants.”

The article notes a partnership between Tyson Foods and Tent Partnership for Refugees, a nonprofit started by Chobani yogurt founder and CEO to connect refugees in need of work with private companies in need of workers.

Between February and March, the meat maker hired nearly 90 asylum seekers to work at its Tennessee-based plant, Bloomberg reported. James Keivom

Tyson joined the nonprofit’s mission in 2022 and committed to hiring 2,500 refugees in the US over the course of three years, according to Fox Business.

Between February and March, the meat maker hired nearly 90 asylum seekers to work at its Tennessee-based plant, Bloomberg reported.

A Tyson human resources rep was quoted in the article, praising the company’s refugee and migrant employees as “very, very loyal.”

“They’ve been uprooted and what they want is stability — what they want is a sense of belonging,” HR official Garrett Dolan said.

Tyson Foods currently employs about 42,000 migrants, who have legal work authorization, as part of its 120,000-strong workforce.

“We would like to employ another 42,000 if we could find them,” Dolan told Bloomberg.

Worker turnover in the food manufacturing industry is high at 40% a year. Dolan said Tyson is constantly looking for new employees to fill the vacancies and does not favor one group over another.

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