US – American multinational meat corporation Tyson Foods Inc. is set to shutter operations at its LD Foods plant in Jefferson, Wis., which employs 62 workers. 

 The plant previously processed seafood for foodservice customers and was a subsidiary of Keystone Foods, which Tyson acquired from Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods in 2018. 

Derek Burleson, the spokesperson for Tyson, said the closure is due to a combination of factors including its customers’ changing product needs, 

According to Burleson, the facility will cease operations in mid-September as the company focuses on its strategic business plan. 

“This was a very tough decision, but because business needs have changed, we’ve decided to take these steps in order to continue focusing on and investing in strategic growth priorities where we have a competitive advantage,” he said, adding that employees of the plant are being offered resources to assist them in finding new jobs. 

Vaccine Mandate for workers 

Meanwhile, the company has said that it will require its 120,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated fully this year and will pay them a US$200 bonus to do so. 

The Arkansas-based meat giant revealed that so far, some 56,000 U.S. employees have been vaccinated.  

Office workers at the company now face a deadline of Oct. 1 to be vaccinated fully, while plant employees have until Nov. 1. 

“It is abundantly clear that getting vaccinated is the single most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our communities,” CEO Donnie King said in a memo to employees. 

The United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents 24,000 Tyson workers, said that it will be meeting with Tyson in the coming weeks to discuss the mandate and make sure that the workers’ rights are protected.  

The union said that it encourages workers to get vaccinated but noted several concerns about the company’s vaccine mandate. 

In response to some resistance to the vaccine directive, the meat processor has said it will allow exceptions to the vaccine mandate for medical or religious reasons. 

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