Seven managers at Tyson Foods’ pork plant in Waterloo have been fired following an independent investigation into allegations they took bets on how many workers would test positive for COVID-19.

Company officials announced the terminations Wednesday, nearly one month after the supervisors were suspended from their jobs without pay. In a press release, Tyson officials said the company’s decision to fire the managers was based on the findings of the investigation.

In a statement, Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks said “the behaviors exhibited by these individuals do not represent Tyson’s core values. Tyson hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to lead the investigation after the accusations against the Waterloo managers were included in an amended lawsuit filed in April by the family of Isidro Fernandez, one of five Waterloo workers who died of COVID-19 complications after being exposed to the virus at the plant.

The lawsuit also alleges that local supervisors ordered sick workers to stay on the job.
The Waterloo plant is Tyson’s largest pork processing facility, employing around 2,800 people. In April, nearly 200 of Black Hawk County’s 374 COVID-19 cases were linked to an outbreak at the plant.

(By Elwin, Huffman, KOEL, Waterloo)