Tyson to close Buffalo plant in 2015, eliminating 300 jobs - The Buffalo News
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Tyson to close Buffalo plant in 2015, eliminating 300 jobs

Tyson Foods will close its Buffalo meat-processing plant next year, eliminating 300 jobs, the Arkansas-based company announced Friday.

Tyson said the Buffalo facility, at 665 Perry St., will close during the first half of 2015, but it did not specify a date.

The company said it was also closing two other plants in Iowa and New Mexico.

Combined, the three plants have about 950 jobs. The Iowa plant will close in September, while the New Mexico plant will close in 2015.

“This is a very difficult decision since it affects the lives of our team members and their families,” said Donnie King, president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions for Tyson Foods, in a statement. “However, these plants have been struggling financially. After long and careful consideration, we’ve concluded it no longer makes business sense to keep them open.”

Employees leaving work for the day declined to share information on the closure or speak on how they found out the news.

All administrative staff had left for the day as of 5:30 p.m., according to front-desk employees.

Tyson cited the distance of the Buffalo and New Mexico plants from their raw material supply base in the Midwest as factors in its decisions to close those locations.

The Iowa plant was targeted for closing in part because of its age and the “prohibitive cost of its renovation,” the company said.

Tyson acquired the former Russer Foods plant, visible from the Niagara Thruway in Buffalo, with its purchase of IBP in 2001.

IBP had acquired Buffalo-based Russer in 1999. Russer began as a family-owned meat distributor and entered the deli processing business in 1969.

In 2002, the Buffalo plant gained jobs when Tyson transferred work here from a plant in Maine the company closed.

Tyson officials said workers will be encouraged to apply for job openings within the company and will be invited to job fairs Tyson plans to host.

The company said it would also work with state officials to ensure employees are informed about unemployment benefits and potential retraining opportunities.

News staff reporter Aaron Mansfield contributed to this report. email: mglynn@buffnews.com

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