The effects of the recent floods are still being felt, this time with nearly half of the Tyson Plant workers in Jefferson losing their jobs. Tyson Foods has decided not to replace the equipment that got damaged in the floods. More than 200 of its 480 employees are being permanently let go.
Tyson Spokesman Gary Mickelson says other company plants handled Jefferson’s production during the shutdown and it decided to keep some of the work at those places. Mickelson says it will not close the Jefferson plant, and it won’t lay off any more workers for now.
The city asked the plant to shut down on June 11th, to reduce the heavy demands on its wastewater treatment system as a result of the floods. A few days later, Tyson’s first floor was flooded when the Rock River went over its banks. The company suffered $7 million in losses.
Tyson says the laid off workers will still get health care. And they’ll keep seniority rights, which means they can be re-hired when there are openings. Negotiations are continuing on how that will work.
Jefferson Mayor Gary Myers says the layoffs will hurt the families involved and put stress on the community but he says the community will get through it.