Some 400 employees will check out for the last time today at Tyson Food plants in Oelwein and Independence. The company announced in January that it is closing the facilities to save 15 to 20-million dollars. The Oelwein and Independence Tyson plants are two of the company’s older facilities. They produce sliced lunch meats and chopped ham.
The closings are part of a move to increase bacon production. Tyson is planning to invest about 30-million dollars in expanding their bacon production line in Cherokee. About 40 workers at the Oelwein and Independence plants have already found jobs with the Tyson plant in Waterloo. Tyson and local workforce reps are helping the workers find other jobs. Tyson, which is based in Arkansas, says the Oelwein plant had been in operation for 40 years, while the Independence facility was 50 years old.