OK Foods, effective July 28, increased the base pay rate for hourly production workers in its Arkansas and Oklahoma facilities.

 “OK Foods recognizes the important role our production employees have in making our quality products,” Christy Terry, vice president of people services at OK Foods, said in a news release issued to the Hot Springs Village Voice. “We appreciate the dedication of those who work in our production facilities and are excited to see their professionalism rewarded.”

The pay increase impacts 2,000 hourly production workers. Rates will vary among positions and facilities, but the new base pay rate will be increased by 30 cents per hour. In addition to the base rate, most of OK Foods’ production team members will be eligible for an attendance incentive pay of $1 per hour and a 50 cents per hour production bonus at the Oklahoma plants in Heavener and Muldrow, as well as the Arkansas facilities.

Base pay rate, according to the Voice, was about $10 an hour, ranging from about $9.70 at some plants to higher than $10 an hour at others. Arkansas’ state minimum wage rate went up from $8.50 to $9.25 per hour at the beginning of January and will again be raised to $10 an hour in January, 2020.

The decision to raise wages follows an earlier launched incentive plan that enters employees with exemplary attendance into a quarterly drawing.  

“Our team members are the backbone of OK Foods,” OK Foods President and CEO Trent Goins said in the release. “Accordingly, we believe it is important to provide competitive compensation, and we expect that our team members will continue to grow with us as we further our mission to nourish the world.”

Goins went on to say this announcement is a “significant show of support for the OK Foods family” and “in accordance with company values, we are committed to providing competitive pay and rewarding team members’ accomplishments in the workplace.”

Goins said he expects the pay raises to attract more people in the River Valley workforce as the company expands.

OK Foods, headquartered in Fort Smith, Arkansas, was founded more than 70 years ago. In 2011, the company was acquired by Mexican poultry company Industrias Bachoco. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, OK Foods processed 13.88 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2018.