Biokyowa Cuts Nearly 40 Workers

Biokyowa Cuts Nearly 40 Workers
By:  Tiffany Sisson
Cape Girardeau, MO -- In Cape Girardeau, nearly 40 people will soon be out of work.  Biokyowa is the world's leading bio-technology company.  Execs tell Heartland News competition is forcing the cuts.   
A major reorganization of plant staffing is taking place behind the gates of biokyowa.  "We value our employees.  This was not a decision that we made easily,"  said Bill Hinckley, Biokyowa plant manager.
Hinckley said the overall cost reduction is necessary to stay competitive in the global amino acid market.  "Our main competitor has announced, and we're seeing signs, that he's doing major cost reduction.  In order for us to remain compeititve in the marketplace, we're forced to do cost reduction also."
Right now, 148 people work at the Cape Girardeau plant.  The company plans to cut a total of 39 jobs.  That's a nearly 30 percent reduction.  "A decision to do nothing is the same as making a decision to eventually go out of business."
When biokyowa set up shop in 1982, the company started with nearly 60 jobs.  It eventually brought that number to approximately 175.  In their nearly 25 years, the company has made cuts twice.  "There were 3 plants.   We shut down the old lysine plant.  It was the orginial plant and made only one amino acid.  We run two plants now."
The employees left in those two plants have the option leave on their own.  It's being called voluntary separation.  They'll get money for helping to save the company money.  If the necessary number of Biokyowa employees don't leave voluntarily, they'll get pink slips.
The employees were told Monday about the cuts.  The official start date for reorganization is January 2006.