Tyson Foods plans to close its prepared foods plant in Columbia, S.C. According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, 146 people will be out of a job.
According to the AP, the food giant will close up shop in August and production will be moved to another plant.
The plant processes pork for taco fillings and pizza toppings. A Tyson spokesperson says the current coronavirus pandemic isn't to blame for the closure and the move is part of an effort to "increase efficiency."
According to The State, the company is working with state officials to inform employees about unemployment benefits as well as other jobs available within the company.
While this closure isn't directly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, Tyson Foods has struggled with plant closures, troubled restarts, at least one lawsuit, and confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout its network of U.S. facilities. The company was recently investigated by the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration following a deadly outbreak at the company's largest pork processing plant in Waterloo. According to the AP, OSHA didn't find any workplace safety violations despite allegations that workers didn't have proper PPE.
According to the AP, at least five workers have died after contracting the virus. The most recent was a 44-year-old maintenance worker who succumbed to the illness on Memorial Day.