Tyson Foods could cut more than 1,600 jobs as the top US meat company plans to close two poultry facilities.
Scheduled for May 12, the closures affect the company’s Glen Allen plant in Henrico County, Virginia, and the Van Buren site in the county of the same name in Arkansas. The factories employ 692 and 969 workers, respectively.
“To strengthen our chicken business, we focused on operational excellence and optimized our network to reach maximum capacity at all Tyson Foods facilities. That said, the current scale and inability to economically improve operations have led to the difficult decision to close the facility,” the Springdale, Arkansas-based company said in a statement.
In both cases, Tyson Foods said it planned to “shift demand” to other facilities and will work with employees “to help ensure they have the option to apply for open positions and relocation assistance where appropriate” to alternative plants.
Separately, Tyson Foods announced plans in October to close three more plants, two in Chicago and one in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, that employ about 1,000 people. An offer was made to those workers to relocate to Springdale, Arkansas. However, a report emerged in December that most staff at those locations were unwilling to relocate to other facilities.
A spokesperson for publicly traded Tyson Foods confirmed to just food today (March 14) the company will have another 44 poultry plants in the US once the Glen Allen and Van Buren sites close, with another set coming online later this year in Danville, Virginia.
Tyson Foods had signaled in 2021 that it planned to cut jobs across its entire network. In December of that year, the company revealed that it would invest US$1.3bn in automation over a three-year period through its 2024 fiscal year and take steps to upskill the workforce. At the time, it said the labor requirement would be reduced by 3,150 over the course of the program.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2023 through December 31, Tyson Foods posted sales of $13.2 billion, up 2.5% year-over-year. Chicken volumes grew 2.5% to about $4.2 billion, while beef volumes increased 2.9% to about $4.7 billion. Pork was down 7.4% at $1.5 billion.
In figures announced in February, the group’s operating income plunged to $467 million from $1.5 billion, and adjusted earnings per share fell to 85 cents from $2.87.
For fiscal 2022 through October 1, Tyson Foods sales were $53.2 billion, up 13%.
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