Tyson Foods announced that it is closing three offices, including one in downtown Chicago, one in Downers Grove, Illinois, and one in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. The move is a part of the plan to reunite employees at the headquarters in Arkansas. This is now four large companies that want out of Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, with the others being Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel.
The three locations have approximately 1,000 employees working collectively. In a statement announcing the decision, Tyson CEO Donnie King indicated that the relocation will begin early next year.
King said, ‘Bringing our talented corporate team members and businesses together under one roof unlocks greater opportunities to share perspectives and ideas, while also enabling us to act quickly to solve problems and provide the innovative products and solutions that our customers deserve and value.’
McDonald’s, headquartered in Chicago, has slammed the city for crime. Recently, CEO Chris Kempczinski claimed that the crime is “seeping into every corner of our city.” He said that he’s frequently asked, “What’s going on in Chicago?”
At the Economic Club of Chicago, he stated, “We have violent crime that’s happening in our restaurants … we’re seeing homelessness issues in our restaurants. We’re having drug overdoses that are happening in our restaurants. So we see in our restaurants, every single day, what’s happening in society at large.”
While McDonald’s has said it will stay in Chicago, it’s not the case for companies like Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel. These have announced their intention to leave Chicago in recent months – nearly three years after the beginning of the city’s unprecedented crime wave.
A record $106.9 million waterfront estate has been purchased by Chicago’s richest billionaire Ken Griffin, founder of Citadel, after he announced plans to move his more than 1,000 employees from the crime-plagued city to Miami.
In May, Boeing announced it was moving from Chicago to Washington, DC. But, the company did not blame it on crime. According to analysts, this move signals that it is no longer interested in being considered a commercial airliner, but rather a defense and aerospace contractor. From 1916 until 2001, Boeing was based in Seattle.
Additionally, Caterpillar, a manufacturer of construction equipment, is moving its offices from suburban Deerfield to Dallas-Fort Worth.
However, Kellogg announced in June that Chicago would be the headquarters of its new cereal and plant-based food companies.
Tyson had a challenging year because of inflation. It recently confirmed that “demand for chicken is extremely strong,” whereas the demand for its higher-priced cuts of beef has been softening.
Since the pandemic, both parties have decried the city’s “lawlessness” after Lightfoot championed a 700-page Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Equitable Today Act that instituted a series of reforms in the criminal justice system in Illinois, including ending bail posting in January.
According to Chicago Police Department statistics, the number of murders has increased 32 percent in 2019 – before the pandemic inspired a spike in crime in the city – with 425 murders recorded so far this year, up from 319 last year.
In 2021, the city reported 519 murders, the highest murder rate since the mid-1990s, a quarter-century high.
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