SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. plans to raise hourly pay at most of its poultry processing plants in the United States. The move is an effort to boost employee recruiting and retention.

Starting Nov. 1, starting pay for production workers at almost 40 plants will rise to $10 from $8 to $9 at some facilities. Maintenance and refrigeration workers at 51 of the company’s chicken plants also will see pay increases of varying amounts, the company said. Top pay for some maintenance positions will be $23 per hour, while $26 per hour is the highest pay for certain refrigeration jobs.

“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.”

White added that Tyson Foods offers the highest-paying entry level jobs in many of the communities where Tyson operates plants and pay more than most poultry processing businesses. Tyson said the company conducts third-party wage surveys and job market research in areas where it has facilities.