More than 250 Tyson Foods Inc. workers based in South Dakota will lose their jobs after deciding not to move to Springdale as part of the meat-giant's plan to consolidate its leadership.
In October, Tyson Foods said it was recalling about 1,000 executives working in its Chicago area and Dakota Dunes, S.D., offices to a centralized company headquarters in Springdale. At the time, Tyson said the move would begin in phases and take about a year to complete but many have chosen not to move to Arkansas, according to media reports.
According to a letter sent to South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, many of the Tyson Foods workers in Dakota Dunes -- 262 in total -- have chosen not to make the move. The company said the last day for most of the employees will be July 31.
The jobs lost listed in the letter include everything from accountants and a building maintenance personnel to senior planners and department heads. Tyson noted severance benefits will vary based on job tenure and job grade.
In a statement Friday, Tyson Foods said its goal was to make the proposition of relocating as attractive and easy as possible but it recognized some of its workers might not be able to make the move. Tyson Foods said it believes bringing its workers together in Springdale will provide more growth opportunities, foster collaboration and make the company more agile, allowing for faster decision making.
"For those who cannot move, we appreciate each of their many contributions," a Tyson Foods spokesman said in an email. "For those who have made the decision to move, we are extremely grateful and look forward to building the future of Tyson Foods together."
In recent months, Tyson has closed poultry processing plants, including one in Arkansas, and is trimming management and executive positions as it struggles with profitability. The company has said the moves are aimed at improving operating efficiency.
In mid-March, Tyson said it would close the Van Buren chicken processing plant, which employed about 950 at the time, as well as a plant in Virginia with nearly 700 workers, in a move to optimize its operations. Those plants closed in May. Tyson followed that move in April saying it would cut 10% of its corporate jobs and reduce senior leadership roles by 15%.
In recent earnings reports, Tyson Foods' top executives have said all three of the company's meat segments -- chicken, pork and beef -- are facing economic challenges. Last month, Tyson reported a surprise second quarter loss of $97 million, with revenue nearly flat at $13.3 billion. Its stock plummeted 16% on the news and moved even lower before beginning to trend upward.
Tyson Foods shares closed at $51.34, up 73 cents, or a little more than 1%, in trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares have traded as low as $47.11 and as high as $92.32 over the past year.