Posted on March 26, 2024

Multimillion Dollar Fund Manager Ditches Tyson Foods

James Reinl, Daily Mail, March 19, 2024

A conservative fund manager has pulled investments from Tyson Foods, saying the meat and poultry giant has alienated its consumers by laying off Americans workers and hiring 42,000 asylum seekers.

Bill Flaig, CEO and co-founder of the $79 million American Conservative Values Fund (ACVF), told that he has divested from Tyson and won’t buy any more stock in the company.

Angry consumers are boycotting Tyson over revelations that the company is shuttering plants and laying off workers while hiring tens of thousands of asylum seekers — and even hiring lawyers for its new recruits.

This decision ‘exposes their shareholders to backlash from one of the most contentious political issues of the day,’ said Flaig.

Tyson, which is based in Springdale, Arkansas, says it’s not cutting American jobs to hire migrants, and that it only recruits newcomers with valid work permits.

‘Any insinuation that we would cut American jobs to hire immigrant workers is completely false,’ Tyson said in a statement.

The $54 billion company did not answer’s requests for more details about its recent hiring and firing moves.

Tyson earlier this month said it was shuttering its pork plant in Perry, Iowa, putting 1,276 people out of work in a town of just 8,000.

It was the latest in a string of closures across Virginia, Arkansas, Indiana and beyond in recent months.

The company is meanwhile trying to hire 42,000 asylum seekers and other immigrants, including through job fairs in New York, where many migrants end up.

The company has in recent weeks 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.

The meat-packer already employs about 42,000 immigrants among its 120,000-strong US workforce.

It offers recruits $16.50 an hour work, paid-for immigration lawyers to help them get work permits, and other perks.

Meat-packing plants are undesirable places to work, and Tyson says it has lots of vacancies to fill amid a low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.

It is cooperating with the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a nonprofit, to hire thousands of them.

Conservatives on social media say the company is unpatriotic.

They have called for a boycott of Tyson and its various foods brands, which include Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, and Aidells.

Tom Carter, ACVF’s president and co-founder, said Tyson had alienated American consumers, who are worried about the influx of migrants across the border with Mexico.

This backlash ‘outweighs any potential economic benefit’ from cheap labor, he said.

‘We do not want to give the companies that are eagerly working to destroy conservative values our hard-earned investment dollars, and neither should you,’ said Carter.

According to MarketWatch, Tyson stocks have underperformed when compared against other big food firms, such as Mondelez, Kraft Heinz, and Hormel Foods, since the boycott began.

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.

‘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.

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.

It 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.

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.

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.