Tyson Foods said Thursday that the suspension of operations at four of its beef plants may extend beyond the expected time frame.



Tyson suspended operations at the plants on Jan. 10 and expected the ban to last three to five weeks. Now the company is saying the suspension will continue for the full five weeks and perhaps beyond. The ban will continue through Feb. 12 and Tyson will decide next week whether to extend it beyond that.



The Springdale, Ark.-based company cited unfavorable market conditions, tight cattle supplies wrought by a mad cow scare in Canada and the absences of key export markets.



Two plants are in the Nebraska cities of Norfolk and West Point; one is in Boise, Idaho and the other is in Denison, Iowa. A fifth plant in Pasco, Wash., has discontinued its second shift.



Tyson said workers who qualify will get paid for another week off the job. The suspension currently affects 2,100 team members. Full-time workers have been getting the equivalent of 32 hours pay per week.



Source: Yahoo News