NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Officials with Tyson Foods have announced that the company will soon close several facilities, including a North Little Rock plant.
A company spokesperson said that the plant will permanently close Oct. 7. The announcement comes as the poultry processing plant released their third quarter 2023 results.
“After careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to permanently close the North Little Rock, Arkansas plant on or about October 7, 2023, and move the work performed in the plant to other facilities,” the spokesperson said. “While the decision was not easy, it reflects our broader strategy to strengthen our poultry business.”
Officials said that the company will help offer relocation benefits for all employees that apply for openings. The company did not say how many employees would lose their jobs, but in a 2018 release, officials said that 200 people were employed at the plant.
Company officials also said that employees receiving benefits will not see a change and will be paid for any earned and unused vacation through the termination date. Employees who remain employed through the plant closing date will receive a retention bonus of $1,000, officials said.
In a letter released earlier this year, Tyson Foods announced that their Van Buren plant would close May 12, leading to a protest.
The company will also close facilities in Corydon, Indiana, Dexter, Missouri and Noel, Missouri.
“The difficult decision to close four chicken facilities in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Corydon, Indiana, Dexter, Missouri and Noel, Missouri, demonstrates our commitment to bold action and operational excellence as we drive performance, including lower costs and improving capacity utilization, and build on our strategy of making Tyson Foods stronger in the long-term,” Tyson Foods President and CEO Donnie King said.
The North Little Rock plant has been in business for 55 years.
Mayor Terry Hartwick released a statement on the company’s closure, calling the decision unfortunate and mentioned that there are several other companies that could have job opportunities for the affected employees.
“It is unfortunate Tyson is closing their plant in North Little Rock after operating over 50 years. I believe the infrastructure we have built with Amazon, Dollar General, Safe Foods, Federal Metals and others will provide a vast opportunity of jobs for the displaced employees,” Hartwick said.
“We have created over 3,000 new jobs in the last three years. We will continue to work with the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and new businesses to secure positions for the displaced workers,” the mayor said.
Company officials said they are working with state and local officials, including the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, to connect all team members to resources and assistance available.