SPRINGDALE, ARK. —
Tyson Foods, Inc. announced Thursday that it will close
plants in Chicago and Jefferson as a way to improve
overall performance of the prepared foods business.
The work performed
by the two closing plants will be moved to other Tyson
Foods facilities with available production capacity,
according to the announcement.
Tyson Foods reported
that about 880 people will be laid off: 480 in Chicago
and 400 in Jefferson. The Jefferson plant makes
pepperoni and the Chicago location makes prepared foods
for the hospitality industry.
Both facilities are expected to cease operations during
the second half of the company’s fiscal year 2016, which
ends Oct. 1, 2016.
“We examined many
options before we turned down this road,” said Donnie
King, president of North American operations for Tyson
Foods, in a statement. “This affects the lives of our
team members and their families, making it a very
difficult decision. But after long and careful
consideration, we've determined we can better serve our
customers by shifting production and equipment to more
modern and efficient locations.”
Tyson Foods said it
is closing the facilities for a variety of reasons,
including changing product needs, the age of both
facilities and prohibitive cost of renovations, as well
as the distance of the Chicago plant from its raw
material supply base.