Tyson Foods to close Glen Allen facility impacting nearly 700 jobs

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 12:24 AM EDT
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GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WWBT) - In two months, Tyson Foods will close its Glen Allen facility to shift demand to other facilities, impacting nearly 700 jobs.

“I’ve dedicated my life to Tyson’s, and they didn’t even give me a chance to retire. They kicked me out,” Mary Vine Smith, who has worked at the facility since 1978, said.

Vine Smith said she and her coworkers all had the same reaction when they found out Monday afternoon they would be out of a job in just a few weeks.

“I was like 40-something years, and today they’re shutting the plant down two months from now,” Vine Smith said she asked herself at the end of her shift on Monday.

She said she’s never thought about working elsewhere because of the people she works with.

“It’s a loving atmosphere,” Vine Smith said.

Those emotions were, unfortunately, thrown out the window when a letter was given to Vine Smith and her coworkers, letting them know after May 12, they would no longer have a job in Glen Allen.

“To hear the screams and the cries of the people, it’s like they had just lost everything,” Vine Smith said.

In a statement, Tyson said it would be closing the plant to shift demand at other food facilities and working with team members to relocate to other facilities within the company.

“They did call the Danville area, which is three to four hours away from Glenn Allen,” Van Smith said.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 is the union representing the 692 employees who will lose their jobs, and in a statement, they said they were disappointed.

Vine Smith said while she’s enjoyed her time working at Tyson, she’s not worried about finding another position but wants to make sure her coworkers are helped.

“Someone did say, I’m a single parent, I have to take care of my children, and rent is extremely high. You know what am I going to do,” Vine Smith said. “I just hope they find jobs to accommodate how they are living.”