HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Tyson Foods plans to close its plant in central Virginia in May, in a move that is expected to put the 692 workers employed there out of a job.
Tyson said in a statement that the closure was due to an “inability to economically improve operations.”
In a statement Monday, the president of United Food and Service Workers Local 400, which represents the plant workers, said the news came as a blow.
“It has been our honor and privilege to represent the workers at this plant for decades, and we were appalled by today’s news and the terrible impact it will have on close to 700 of our union members,” said Mark Federici, President of UFCW 400.
He added that Tyson provided no advance warning to the union, and criticized the company for shuttering the plant even as they invest hundreds of millions in a new plant in Pittsylvania County.
Tyson said the closure reflected a “broader strategy” to concentrate production and use “the full available capacity at each plant.” A company representative added that the company would “provide opportunities for relocation where applicable” but would rely on state and local authorities to assist the workers left behind in Central Virginia.
The company received over $6 million in public assistance from the commonwealth for that project.
“Rest assured, our union will do everything in our power to help our members and their families through this difficult time,” Federici said.
The move comes after the chicken giant’s stock dropped 33% in the past year.
This is a developing story, stay with 8News for updates.