Tyson cutting more than half its Emporia work force

January 26, 2008


— Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat company, announced Friday it would cease beef slaughter operations at its Emporia plant, cutting about 1,500 jobs, more than half its work force at that facility.

The cuts come in response to a difficult beef market and the location of the Emporia plant in eastern Kansas, which has been part of Tyson Foods since the company's purchase of IBP Inc. in 2001, said Dick Bond, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.

Beef slaughter operations at the Emporia plant, which has about 2,400 employees, will end within the next few weeks, the Little Rock, Ark.-based company said in a news release. The company will continue to use the Emporia facility for cold storage and as a distribution warehouse, and for processing ground beef.

"There continues to be far more beef slaughter capacity than available cattle, and we believe this problem will continue to afflict the industry for the foreseeable future," Bond said. "We estimate the current slaughter overcapacity in the industry to be between 10,000 and 14,000 head of cattle per day."


Richard Heckler 10 years ago

More meat from China? What a silly place to ship meat to the USA from?

Steve Jacob 10 years ago

That's ALOT of jobs for a city that size.

Paul R Getto 10 years ago

I hope the displaced workers can land on their feet. The phony ethanol "energy independence" program, more welfare for a few growers, is distorting the markets. We need to make alcohol for fuel, but messing with corn production is not the way to do it.

jonas 10 years ago

Where does it say China anywhere in this article, Merrill?

Wilbur_Nether 10 years ago

No, Dollypawpaw...most of Tyson's immigrant workforce in Emporia is now Somali.

BeInformed 10 years ago

wow its incredible that people say go back to mexico. I guess you prefer lead tainted meat from china. UM!!!! Hey Doc1 you get the first bite

toefungus 10 years ago

To look at the root of the problem, you should examine the tax structure in Kansas. Kansas, between property, income, excise, sales, and yes, intangible taxes, has a very high tax load. Texas has no income tax. Kansas must shrink government services, lower taxes, and put out an open for business sign. Our comparative advantages in Kansas are small. We have to compete on costs.

average 10 years ago

Race ya to the bottom, toefungus! Alabama schools? I'm sure we can spend even less. Missouri roads (up till they started working on some them in 2004)? I'm sure we can spend even less. The race to the bottom didn't help South Carolina textiles very long, now did it? It's real, real hard to "compete on costs" with 15 year olds making $4 a 10-hour day with zero worker injury compensation, and dumping raw industrial waste down the river. But, if that's what we have to do to compete, there will be cheerleaders for it.

Sure, Kansas could and should spend less in some areas (although our total state tax burden is very much the national average). But, the biggest changes need to come from the Federal government ending their deeply underfunded mandates like No Child Left Behind and the War on Drugs.

janeyb 10 years ago

Samalians with active and latent tuberculosis, because Nebraska said they couldn't work there, so Tyson shipped them to Emporia.

Sigmund 10 years ago

jonas (Anonymous) says: "Where does it say China anywhere in this article, Merrill?"

Merrill makes up fact to fit his ideology, it is easier that way.

MW92XJ 10 years ago

Just so you all stop your speculations and assumptions these are a few bits of info closer to the sources.

I am a current resident of Emporia as well as a store manager of a retail/service business here. This announcement has the town even more nervous and worried than any immigration issue ever has. This will be a huge hit to an already unstable local economy. Think about this, Menu Foods, Dolly Madison (IBC), Tyson...what do they all have in common? Large factories that employed a huge number of local residents that put alot of money into the local and surrounding economy. Look a little bit closer and you will see another similarity...they are all struggling to stay open at the moment or have already cut way back in production and its workforce. As much as I would like to blame things on all the immigrants (illegal or otherwise) it does not stem from them, it doesnt help it, but it is not the cause. Menu Foods had the recent battle with the glutton poisoning that has crippled its business and caused a drastic decline in production needs and a overstocked warehouse. Tyson...well its all over the news. Dolly Madison? In bankruptcy court since Sept 04, now courts are putting an extreme amount of pressure on CEO's to actually do something...people around here were already worried about lay-offs and wondering if the plant was going to stay running or if cutbacks, how bad it was going to be. If Dolly is next, I truely fear for this towns economy and stability. But for now I hope all the talk about how the Govt is going to help with this is true, but I will not be holding my breath.

toefungus 10 years ago

So, what is Kansas' advantage? We are competing against other states and the world. Is it our educated work force? If so, we should try to find ways to automate the meat packing business to be more efficient. Is it our agricultural base? Might be, but property taxes are really tough on those who make a living on crops. Is it airplane assembly? Might be, but Boeing has determined world assembly is cheaper than our US assembly plants. I do not believe we should race to the bottom. But, taxes are not supporting business growth. If we think is does, we will continue to lose out to those who have a better idea.

jumpin_catfish 10 years ago

dollypawpaw got anymore wondrous insight into things you have no clue about?

toefungus What?!?!

greenworld 10 years ago

No they will just head down to Liberal Ks to National the next meat packing plant and work for 3.00hr.

Sigmund 10 years ago

cool (Anonymous) says: "wish they would convert to more chickens i guess,not sure what to do but Emporia simply can't afford to lose this many jobs."

Convert all your vegan friends and buy more Tyson beef? Get a grip Sven, cities, industries and economies go up and down, As already been alluded to, Gov Kathy's Ethanol Farm Subsidy and Ecomentalism Scam is driving the price of feed up. As the price of beef goes up, people eat less beef. As people eat less beef Tyson needs less capacity and people lose jobs. But don't fret, that wealth is being transferred to farmers and away from ranchers.

But that is not the worse of it. All the water used to grow corn will put extra pressure on the aquifer. We are leaving oil in the ground whose highest and best use as a source of energy and substituting water and corn whose highest and best use is to sustain human life. The next big media "crisis" is going to be rising food prices. People already living on the margins will be hardest hit. Think about that next time you fill up with gasahol.

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