Petit Jean Poultry forced to close chicken deboning plant

Petit Jean Poultry Inc. says 385 workers will be idled when it closes its chicken-deboning plant at Arkadelphia, effective April 1.

The Daily Siftings Herald reported Monday that the company said in a news release that the facility lost a deboning contract it had with Tyson Foods. Plant manager Ronnie Farham said efforts to find another company to contract with weren't successful.

The plant has a total payroll of more than $3.5 million annually.

Farham said employment at the plant in the Clark County Commerce Park at Gum Springs, southeast of Arkadelphia, had dropped over the years. He said that, at one time, the plant employed more than 700 people, but that number was reduced by automation.

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