Tyson shifts production with 480 job cuts

Tyson shifts production with 480 job cuts

US meat giant Tyson Foods has announced plans to "shift" some production from a plant in Iowa to Texas and Tennessee, a move that will lead to 480 job cuts.

The meat packer said the changes are being made in a bid to enable the company to "make more effective use of its existing case-ready production capacity".

As a result, some production will move from the firm's Council Bluffs, Iowa, case-ready plant to its facilities in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and Sherman, Texas. The two plants are closer to the company's growing customer base, the firm said.

"The business is growing and growth is taking place in the southern US so it makes sense, we believe, to shift some of what we're doing at Council Bluff's, which is serving some of those customers in the south, to our facilities in Texas and Tennessee, which both have the capacity to absorb what Council Bluff's is doing," a spokesperson told just-food.

A portion of second-shift case-ready production at the Council Bluffs plant will be suspended in mid-March and subsequently handled by Tyson's two other case-ready facilities, which the company said have available capacity.

The suspension, Tyson said, will "displace" around 480 of the 1,300 people employed at the Council Bluffs plant. The firm said it is encouraging staff to apply for openings within the company and also will be invited to a job fair Tyson officials plan to host.

The firm said it was not aware of plans to shift any further production or make any further job losses and declined to comment on how much the company will save with the move.

Tyson said that, if enough additional case-ready business develops in the Midwest, it will "consider reinstating the production we're suspending at Council Bluffs".

The spokesperson would not comment on how much business Tyson had lost in the Midwest.

"We're not going to quantify things for competitive reasons, but we think there are efficiencies in the fact that our customer base is growing in the south and it makes more sense to produce the product that our customers are demanding in the southern most plants."