Tyson made this request on behalf of its Shelbyville plant employees, some of whom had expressed concern about the new contract provisions relative to paid holidays. In an effort to be responsive, Tyson asked the union to reopen the contract to address the holiday issue, and the union agreed to do so. The union membership voted overwhelmingly Thursday to reinstate Labor Day as one of the plant’s paid holidays, while keeping Eid al-Fitr as an additional paid holiday for this year only. This means that in 2008 only, Shelbyville employees will have nine paid holidays.
For the remainder of the five-year contract period, the eight paid holidays will include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and a Personal Holiday, which could either be the employee’s birthday, Eid al-Fitr or another day requested and approved by their supervisor.
This issue concerns only the plant at Shelbyville, Tennessee. Labor Day has always been celebrated, and continues to be, at the other 118 Tyson plants across the country.
The Shelbyville complex employs approximately 1,200 people. Approximately 1,000 workers are covered by the RWDSU union agreement at that location.