SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Tyson Foods Inc. announced a plan to close two facilities, which would result in the loss of almost 1,700 jobs.

The poultry company stated it would close its Van Buren, Ark., facility, which would affect 969 workers. Tyson would also close its Glen Allen, Va., facility, affecting 692 jobs.

The company said it plans to close processing, broiler and hatching operations by May 12 at both locations and shift demand to other Tyson Foods plants.

“While the decision was not easy, it reflects our broader strategy to strengthen our poultry business by optimizing operations and utilizing the full available capacity at each plant,” said Derek Burleson, spokesperson for Tyson. “We are working directly with impacted team members to help ensure they have the option to apply for open positions and relocation assistance where applicable to other Tyson Foods facilities.”

The company shared that it was working closely with state and local agencies and officials to provide resources and assistance to those who choose to remain in Glen Allen and Van Buren. 

Mark Federici, president of the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 Union (UFCW), which represents the Glen Allen workers, shared that the group received the news from Tyson on March 13. 

“It has been our honor and privilege to represent the workers at this plant for decades, and we were appalled by today’s news and the terrible impact it will have on close to 700 of our union members,” Federici said on the UFCW website

UFCW noted that Rick Nimrick, vice president of labor relations at Tyson, informed the union that the plan would close under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires a 60-day advance notification if a plant closure or mass layoff will occur at a facility. 

According to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Glen Allen facility had been operational since 1952. Tyson acquired the plant from Holly Farms Poultry during the late 1980s.