Missouri Attorney General encourages Tyson Foods to sell two plants in southern Missouri

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joining Senator Hawley’s efforts to protect working families in southern Missouri, Attorney General Andrew Bailey sent a letter to Donnie King, Chief Executive Officer of Tyson Foods, urging him to sell, rather than shut down, two of Tyson’s plants in Dexter and Noel, Missouri.

In the letter, Attorney General Bailey expresses, “I am deeply concerned about your decision to shut down two plants in Dexter and Noel, Missouri. These plants play a pivotal role in their local communities. The City Administrator of Dexter, for instance, highlighted that Dexter ‘has been home to an active poultry production industry since the 1890s and the current plant location has been operational since the Swift Poultry Company began in the 1930s.’ Shutting down these plants would severely impact the local economy. This sentiment is echoed in Noel, where the plant employs 1,500 workers in a city with a population of 2,100.

“Such closures will create ripple effects, affecting more than just those who would lose their factory jobs. How can a restaurant or grocery store in a town of 2,000 residents remain operational when 1,500 individuals are unemployed? What will become of chicken farmers and grain growers if the plants they’ve depended on for years shut down?”

He adds, “It is crucial that you do everything possible to either maintain the facilities or sell them to any interested party, even if it’s a competitor. I’m aware that Senator Hawley recently informed you that federal antitrust laws mandate you to make every effort to sell, even to competitors. Missouri’s antitrust laws are ‘interpreted in line with prevailing judicial interpretations of similar federal antitrust statutes.’ Mo. Rev. Stat. § 416.141; see also Empire Storage & Ice Co. v. Giboney, 357 Mo. 671, 675 (1948), aff’d, 336 U.S. 490 (1949) (specific actions taken ‘with the intent of refusing to sell to certain individuals directly contravene’ Missouri antitrust legislation). Hence, the obligation to make every effort to sell is not only a federal mandate but a state one as well. Like Senator Hawley, I am dedicated to ensuring corporations meet their legal responsibilities. I will consistently uphold state law to protect working Missouri families.”

Attorney General Bailey concludes, “Beyond potential legal implications, making every effort to find a buyer to keep these essential factories operational is simply the morally right course of action. It’s crucial for the Missourians who rely on these factories for their livelihood that Tyson strives to keep these plants open. I am open to discussing this issue further with you.”

The full letter can be read by clicking or tapping here.

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