Tyson Foods Inc. announced Friday it is increasing hourly pay at most of its U.S. chicken plants.

Tyson Foods Inc. announced Friday it is increasing hourly pay at most of its U.S. chicken plants.


The move, effective Nov. 1, affects hourly production, maintenance and refrigeration workers at 51 of Tyson’s chicken plants, the company said in a news release. This includes raising the starting pay for production workers at almost 40 plants to at least $10 an hour. The starting rate at some facilities had previously been in the $8 to $9 range.


The change in the starting rate, along with other increases of varying amounts for experienced production, maintenance and refrigeration workers, means the average hourly pay for those who have been on the job for more than a year will be more than $12 an hour, the company said in the release. Top hourly production pay in Tyson Foods’ chicken operations exceeds $16 an hour.


Maintenance and refrigeration workers at the 51 chicken plants will also experience increases of varying amounts, according to the release. As a result, top pay for some maintenance jobs will reach $23 an hour while the highest pay for certain refrigeration jobs will be $26 an hour.


"We’re increasing pay to remain competitive in the labor markets where we operate and to retain the quality team members we need to keep running successfully," said Noel White, president of Tyson Foods’ poultry business. "We believe we have the best team in the chicken business and we want to keep it that way."