Tyson Foods Inc. will terminate about 262 employees in South Dakota who chose not to relocate to its headquarters in Arkansas, showing widespread resistance to the move, the company confirmed Friday.
The layoffs remove some key executives at a time the U.S. meatpacker is seeking to cut costs in the face of easing demand from cash-strapped consumers and high costs for basics like cattle.
Tyson said in October it would relocate all corporate employees from offices in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, along with those in Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois, to its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas.
The Dakota Dunes office has about 500 employees total, according to the company, meaning only about half agreed to make the move. Tyson said it is "extremely grateful" for those heading to Arkansas.
July 31 will be the last day of work for most of the 262 Dakota Dunes employees opting not to relocate, Tyson said in a letter to South Dakota officials last week. Those being terminated held titles including senior vice president of pork and head of sales for pork and beef, according to the letter.
Tyson last month posted a surprise second-quarter loss and cut its full-year revenue forecast amid slowing consumer demand.
The company closed two U.S. chicken plants with almost 1,700 workers this year and said in April it would eliminate about 10% of corporate jobs and 15% of senior leadership roles. The corporate reduction was separate from employees leaving the company rather than relocating to Arkansas.
As of Oct. 1, Tyson had about 124,000 U.S. employees, including 118,000 working in non-corporate sites like production plants, according to regulatory filings.
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