October 5, 2023


Tyson Foods to announces layoffs at North Carolina facility




Major US meatpacker Tyson Foods is set to reduce its workforce at a cooked poultry facility located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, US, Just Food reported.


While the company has not disclosed the exact number of employees facing layoffs, local media reports have estimated the figure to be around 250 individuals. According to reports from local broadcaster WBTV, the facility currently employs approximately 3,000 workers.


This move follows Tyson's recent closure of two poultry plants earlier this year, with plans to shutter four more facilities in 2024.


In response to inquiries regarding the job cuts in Wilkesboro, a spokesperson for Tyson issued the following statement, "After careful consideration, and in response to customer demand, we have reduced the number of positions on the second shift at the Tyson Foods Wilkesboro complex. We realise the impact on our team members and supporting them is our priority. We were able to offer these team members the opportunity to take other positions at the Wilkesboro plant and to apply for positions at other Tyson Foods facilities."


In August, Tyson announced its intentions to close four domestic chicken plants during the first half of the 2024 fiscal year, citing the need to reduce costs amidst slowing demand and declining profits. The company indicated that production would be shifted to other facilities.


The affected plants are situated in North Little Rock, Arkansas; Corydon, Indiana; Dexter, Missouri; and Noel, Missouri. Reports from news agency Reuters have estimated that nearly 3,000 individuals are employed across these sites.


Tyson Foods anticipates incurring total charges ranging from US$300 million to US$400 million as a result of these closures.


Throughout the year, Tyson Foods has taken measures such as cutting corporate jobs and closing other chicken plants. In April, the company announced a reduction of 15% in senior leadership roles and 10% in corporate roles. A month prior to this announcement, Tyson revealed the closure of two plants in Glen Allen, Virginia, and Van Buren, Arkansas, affecting more than 1,600 jobs.


During a conference call with analysts following the release of its fiscal third-quarter financial results in August, Tyson Foods' chief executive officer Donnie King did not rule out the possibility of further closures. The company faced ongoing challenges across its chicken, beef, and pork operations.


King said that they are continuing to evaluate everything as they automate and modernise these assets.


He said they are executing a multi-point plan focused on efficiency and modernisation, including taking a much closer look at the cost structure across the business to drive operational excellence.


Tyson Foods, headquartered in Arkansas, reported third-quarter sales of US$13.14 billion, reflecting a 3% year-on-year decline. Meanwhile, its adjusted operating income dropped by 82% to US$179 million.


-      Just Food

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