Tyson Foods is reportedly facing the departure of hundreds of staff who have declined an offer to relocate under the US meat giant’s planned descaling.

The business announced in October it was closing three sites – two in Chicago and one in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, employing around 1,000 people. An offer was made to those workers to shift to Springdale, Arkansas.

However, according to unnamed sources cited in an article by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), around three quarters of the 500 staff in South Dakota have reportedly said they would not move. Meanwhile, more than 90% of the employees at the Chicago offices have declined to relocate.

The WSJ added that the affected workers were given until 14 November to make a decision on whether they were willing to relocate. The publication said the two sites in Chicago in the state of Illinois are located in Downers Grove and work in the prepared foods, beef and pork divisions.

In a statement issued in October, Tyson Foods said the affected staff would begin to relocate early in the new year. The company argued the move would “foster closer collaboration, enhance team member agility and enable faster decision making, positioning Tyson to win with its team members, customers, and consumers”.

Donnie King, Tyson Foods’ president and CEO, said at the time: “Bringing our talented corporate team members and businesses together under one roof unlocks greater opportunities to share perspectives and ideas, while also enabling us to act quickly to solve problems and provide the innovative products solutions that our customers deserve and value.”

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Tyson Foods responded to Just Food’s request for comment today (22 December) with a brief statement from King.

“I’m confident the plan we have in place ensures business continuity and positions us for long-term success,” he said. “This is the right formula to win for the future.

“We knew there would be a variety of responses when we announced the consolidation of our corporate locations, and we’ve proven we can recruit world class talent to Northwest Arkansas with the recent additions of Melanie Boulden as chief growth officer and Brady Stewart as our new group president of fresh meats.”

Both of those appointments were announced this month.