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Opinion – Daddy Warbucks

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F.A.S.T. for Tyson may not work so well

Shocking news coming from the world’s largest meat
and poultry producer this week was that layoffs – yes,
layoffs – are coming. And those layoffs were not in some chicken processing
plant in Alabama or a meat packing house in Iowa – they were coming right here at home. Like Dave Barry always says: “We are not kidding, this is real.”
Yes, very real.
The new, lean (and some say mean) management team at
Tyson Foods has enacted a F.A.S.T. program—an acronym for Focus, Agility, Simplify and Trust. That management scheme, while on paper, seems to work – and will possibly work to shore up the
bottom line on the business – but it does leave some bleeding in its wake.
Middle management cuts will be made locally. That
translates into a young guy (or gal) probably married,
probably with kids, a mortgage, two or more car notes
and a boat or some other outdoor amenity on payments –
who will lose their job.
Yes the company will retired some folks, not hire open
Spots, but they will, admittedly, trim (hire, let go,
pink slip) about 100-150 folks in the area. Badsville. But necessary, some analysts say. Daddy W. hates to see the cuts made, but he does
recall that business is business is business. But a change from the old ‘If you ever get a job here, you are safe here’ days – yes, even at Tyson Foods – is over. Sadly few if any local elected officials let out even a small peep over the cuts. Are they, too, scared of Tyson and it’s F.A.S.T. track procedures.

PAPER GROWTH
Good news in NW Arkansas, both the major newspapers serving the area (one a major stakeholder in this publication) showed significant growth – when compared to the national downward trends. Just another sign that local folks like to read, and think, and talk about the news. Daddy W. is grateful to all the faithful readers.

MO ARVE$T BANK$
The state Banking Commission got the application for ArVe$t Bank to open a new branch in the new Wal-Mart at Kelly Highway and I-540 in Fort
Smith. Imagine that—an ArVe$t Bank in a Walton Mart, oops, Wal-Mart. Also, another ArVe$t Bank is chartered to open down in Little Rock way out on Cantrell Road.

EAGLES HIT
Wal-Mart showed the music industry, especially Billboard magazine how it is done. The Eagles, who have not had a hit in a while, have now launched the No.1 music hit – and did it only selling their wares at Wal-Mart. The Eagles’ newest album “Long Road Out of Eden” exceeded the projected
710,000 copies, by just how many, they won’t say. But the Eagles sold enough to go No. 1 in a debut/breakout week. Pretty good strategy, huh?

NEW NEIGHBORS
Wal-Mart, after moving the Sam’s Club from Springdale to Fayetteville, will build a new 40,000 Neighborhood Market at U.S. 412 and Butterfield Coach Roach in “Chickendale.” Maybe it’s the corporate way of saying, ‘sorry we took those tax dollars to Fayetteville.’

TRAVEL TALES
With all the city budget cuts, the local press ran a story about Fayetteville’s
traveling mayor and all the good he is doing in the name of the environment. But with budget cuts – who is paying the bills for his travel? Some one ask, a
pretty good question. Will the travel budget for non-essential meetings be trimmed in these hard times?

BYE ALPHA BITS
There’s news that Kraft will sell of some of its cereal brands, notably Alpha Bits, Grape Nuts and the family of Shredded Wheat products, all to help the Kraft bottom line. Already the food company has sold off Minute Maid Rice, Milk Bone Dog Biscuits and Cream of Wheat.

TROUT ON TV
Trout Fishing in America that delightful duo of Ezra and Keith, did a bang up job on a live broadcast on Arkansas Educational Television
Network this past week. The live show featured the NW Arkansas duo in their best stage presence. Good job guys.

OIL WATCH
Daddy W. predicted it and gosh the oil prices are close to $100 a barrel (if they are not already over that mark as this goes to press). And look out!
A gallon of gas, some analyst say, could top $3.50 by summer! Bring back $2.50 gas we will be screaming. And the price might get closer to $4 a gallon. Yikes!

FASTER, BETTER
Imagine this: The U.S. economy is overheating – dare we say it – inflation might be creeping in and yet the American work force in the last quarter actually showed a 4.9 percent increase in working better, faster and more efficient. This was the first time for the workforce statistics to go up
since 2003. Work harder. Work smarter.

COPS CONNED?
Were the Boys In Blue in Springdale scammed by a fast-talking outside fund-raising firm, or did they not read the fine print? Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from a recent fundraiser, said to be for Shop With A Cop, actually went to the fundraising firm, not,  the Springdale cops or the kids. An investigation is underway. Look for red faces.

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