Tyson reducing workforce in Kansas facility

by Eric Schroeder
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EMPORIA, KAS. — Tyson Foods, Inc. said it is in the process of reducing its workforce at its facility in Emporia by 60 to 80 people. The layoffs are part of a staff reorganization that will cut the overall size of the workforce at Emporia to about 900 people.

“Improved efficiency at Tyson plants that supply the Emporia operation is the primary reason for the reduction in staffing,” said Gary Mickelson, spokesperson for Tyson Foods. “These source plants have become more flexible in their ability to produce certain meat products made at Emporia. This added flexibility has resulted in less production and fewer work hours for our Emporia team members.”

Mr. Mickelson said eliminating jobs is expected to benefit the remaining Emporia employees, as it is hoped the reduction will give them more hours to work each week. He said those being displaced may qualify for jobs in other areas of the plant where there are current openings, such as ground beef, material handling and maintenance.

Mr. Mickelson said despite the workforce reduction, the Emporia plant remains a viable operation.

“It has the ability to produce certain specialty cuts of beef and pork that other plants do not and gives us the flexibility to meet certain customer needs,” he said. “We intend to continue to produce specialty products at Emporia and are hopeful these product lines will flourish and enable us to add jobs in the future.”

Tyson closed its slaughter operation in Emporia, cutting about 1,400 jobs at the Emporia plant in January 2008. The workforce was reduced from about 2,400 to 1,000 at that time.

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