Tyson may lay off hundreds of South Bay workers

Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 20:56:49-05

Tyson Foods may lay off more than 400 workers in the South Bay in an effort to become more efficient and save money.

It would be the biggest layoff in San Diego County in more than a year.

The company filed a layoff notice with the state this month saying it had to let 401 workers go from its Circle Foods label plant in Otay Mesa. 

"Tyson Foods, Inc. regrets that its team members at the San Diego, California facility must be permanently displaced yet hopes to accomplish this plant closing with the least possible disruption of lives of the tema members, their families, and the community," the notice says.

Many of the workers make Mexican frozen food on the factory's assemblyline.

A team from the San Diego Workforce Partnership has already been to the factory twice to help the workers find new opportunities. 

Also, Windsor Foods is buying Tyson's plant to expand its Mexican frozen food offerings. While it does plan to eliminate three tortilla lines, company VIce President Paul Taylor said the Windsor hopes to keep as many of the workers as possible.

Andy Hall, chief operating officer of the San Diego Workforce Partnership, said he doesn't see the layoffs as a larger trend. After all, the unemployment rate is now near a 17-year-low of 3.3 percent. 

The layoffs are expected to occur by the end of April. 

Tyson in a statement said it is working on a transition plan with Windsor Foods, but will retain some operations here. The company said it is focused on making high quality products for its customers.