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Tyson Begins Scaling Back Operations at Emporia Beef Plant; Workers given more time to consider jobs at other Tyson locations


Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is beginning to implement previously announced plans to restructure operations at its Emporia, Kansas, beef plant. Second shift slaughter operations will end today, while second shift processing will cease Friday, giving affected workers more time to consider employment at other Tyson locations.

Last week Tyson officials announced their intention to scale back production at Emporia within the next few weeks, resulting in the elimination of approximately 1,500 of the 2,400 jobs at the plant. The company is discontinuing slaughter operations and some beef processing because of unfavorable market conditions, which include more beef industry slaughter capacity than available cattle.

“We’ve decided to end some operations now so the Team Members affected can immediately start considering opportunities at other Tyson plants,” said Jim Lochner, senior group vice president of Tyson Fresh Meats. “We’re pleased with the initial interest some have already expressed in relocating to another Tyson facility.”

Tyson Human Resources representatives have been meeting with Emporia workers this week to discuss transferring to other Tyson locations, such as company beef facilities at Lexington, Nebraska; Finney County, Kansas; Dakota City, Nebraska, and Joslin, Illinois. The company is offering cash relocation incentives for qualified workers. Those who transfer will also retain their seniority as it relates to the accrual of benefits, including vacation time, as well as wage increases. State labor officials have also been on site to offer information and assistance.

This week’s discontinuation of second shift slaughter and second shift processing affects 800 Team Members. No date has been set for the last day of first shift slaughter operations. As noted last week, workers affected by the cutbacks will continue to be paid and receive benefits for 60 days, in accordance with federal law.

After the reduction in operations is completed, the Emporia plant will continue to be used as a cold storage and distribution warehouse and will process ground beef and some specialty beef cuts that require additional boning and trimming.

While Tyson is ceasing slaughter operations at Emporia, the company is examining the potential use of the plant livestock yards as a fed steer and heifer buying station to supply fattened steers and heifers, weighing between 900 and 1,400 pounds, to other Tyson locations.

Contact: Gary Mickelson 479-290-6111


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