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Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016

Tyson denies death threat

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Tyson Foods spokesperson stated Wednesday that while graffiti was recently discovered at their Shelbyville facility, media reports about the details are not factual.

However the spokesman also stated that federal authorities have been contacted about the matter.

Late last week, Shelbyville police began providing an armed off-duty officer for the Tyson Foods facility after alleged threatening messages reportedly were made.

Nashville television station WSMV reported claims made by an unidentified woman that someone wrote "all Americans must die" on a bathroom wall -- an act that was reportedly preceded by a fire in a woman's restroom inside the plant a week before.

But Tyson Foods spokesperson Gary Mickelson said in a statement that "(c)ontrary to media reports, the graffiti does not include the words "all Americans must die."

"Reports that someone set the women's restroom on fire last week are also not true," Mickelson said. "In addition, Labor Day continues to be a paid holiday at the plant."

But Mickelson also said that the firm is "investigating the discovery of some graffiti in a specific location in our Shelbyville plant last week."

"Federal authorities have been contacted," he said. "It is premature to conclude who may be responsible; however, we remain confident in the safety of our plant, our people and our products."

No details about the content of the alleged graffiti were provided by Tyson, however.

Mickelson added that Tyson Foods are an equal opportunity employer "with a diverse workforce at our Shelbyville plant."

"It includes life-long residents of the local community as well as people from other parts of the U.S., including immigrants, who have come to Shelbyville after hearing about job opportunities at our plant," he said.

He also said that Tyson Foods works hard "to treat all of our people fairly and to ensure the security and safety of our people, operations and products."

Shelbyville police chief Austin Swing told the T-G Tuesday that plainclothes officers patrolling inside the facility reported all was peaceful.

Swing said that no official report has been made about the alleged incidents, and that the department was providing an armed off-duty officer after Tyson requested it.

The unidentified woman who made the claims to the television station explained that she did not see the graffiti herself, but heard the story secondhand from others.

She told reporters from WSMV that she wanted to remain anonymous to protect a family member who works at Tyson.

The anonymous source claimed a security guard was stationed at the woman's bathroom door after someone allegedly set it on fire last week.

However, Swing said he did not know anything about any alleged arson at the plant, and had not heard about it until the information appeared in the Channel 4 report.

The alleged written threat was reportedly made sometime last week, the woman claimed, adding that workers were scared and wondering how the company would respond to the alleged incidents.

She also claimed to the TV station that guards had been doubled outside the facility and that some inside the plant are concerned.

"They've complained for years, as to why these people are being hired in our food department when we are worried about our safety as Americans, you know, and that's something we all need to think about," she told the station.

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