Agriculture

Tyson to rebuild Holcomb beef plant destroyed by fire. Employees are guaranteed pay

AP

Tyson Foods is guaranteeing pay to employees as the company rebuilds the Holcomb beef plant that burned in a Friday fire.

The beef plant was partially destroyed and officials are still assessing damage, so there is no timeline for rebuilding the beef plant, the company announced Monday in a news release. It will be rebuilt at the same location, and it is down indefinitely. No injuries were reported in the fire.

“This is a difficult time for our team members and their families, and we want to ensure they’re taken care of,” said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, in the release. “Today, we will notify our full-time, active team members that they’ll be paid weekly until production resumes.”

All full-time, active employees are guaranteed pay, the company said. Some workers may be called on to work during cleanup and other projects.

Stouffer said the company has started moving production to other plants and plans to keep the supply chain full. The Arkansas-based meat company operates six plants in Kansas, employing more than 5,600 people, paying about $269 million in wages annually with a total estimated economic impact on the state of more than $2.4 billion.

“I want to thank Tyson for its commitment to rebuild its beef plant in Holcomb, Kan., following this weekend’s devastating fire,” Rep. Roger Marshall said in a statement. “This is good news not only for the plant’s 3,500-plus employees but for Kansas farmers and ranchers.”

Former Tyson employee Tom Kerr talks about working in the company's chicken processing plant in Monett, Missouri. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

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