Simmons Foods Inc. will lay off 180 hourly workers by April 15 as it slows chicken production to offset rising grain prices, the Siloam Springs-based company said March 15.
“Due to economics specific to our industry, resulting from high grain prices predominantly caused by corn being used in ethanol, we have decided to realign some of our production resulting in the elimination of 180 positions as of April 15,” a news release from the company stated. “It is our desire to restore these jobs as the market improves.”
Officials aren’t saying which jobs will be cut, or whether all of the layoffs will come from the company’s Siloam Springs plant.
Simmons Foods employed about 3,900 at its 15 Northwest Arkansas locations as of August 2010, compared with 3,600 workers the previous year. The privately held company provides custom chicken products for foodservice and retail markets, and also has operations in Missouri and Oklahoma.