Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale said it was laying off workers at its chicken processing plant in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, adding to job cuts at its poultry facilities around the country.
The company, through a spokesman, declined to say how many workers would be affected. WBTV in Charlotte put the number at approximately 250; more than 2,700 workers are employed at the plant, according to the latest count on Tyson Foods’ website.
The spokesman said that affected employees would be offered other positions.
“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,” the company said. “We realize 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.”
It’s the latest in a string of harsh news in Tyson Foods’ chicken segment. The company reported combined losses of $572 million in operating income in chicken the past two quarters.
In August, Tyson Foods announced it was closing four chicken facilities, including one in North Little Rock. It also announced that it would not renew integrator contracts with chicken farmers whose contracts were ending in the next two years, affecting 39 farmers in Benton Country and six in Boone County.
Earlier this year, Tyson Foods closed a 48-year-old poultry plant in Van Buren that employed 969 and a plant in Glen Allen, Virginia, that employed 692.
Tyson has also thinned its corporate ranks, cutting hundreds of office workers in South Dakota and the Chicago area who declined to relocate to northwest Arkansas under a consolidation plan known as OneTyson.