Processing Magazine

Pilgrim''s Pride to idle Alabama plant; 640 jobs affected

July 27, 2009
Reuters reports that Pilgrim''s Pride Corp. will idle its chicken processing plant in Athens within the next 75 days in a cost cutting move that will affect 640 Alabama employees. The Pittsburg, Texas-based firm also will idle one of its two plants in Athens, Ga., according to a news release. Pilgrim’s Pride will consolidate production from those plants into other complexes, the release said. It will consider restarting the two plants “should the market justify it.” Production from the Athens, Alabama plant will be consolidated into two other Pilgrim''s Pride complexes, bringing those facilities to full capacity. The hatchery in Moulton, Ala., the feed mill in Falkville, Ala., and other live production operations associated with the Athens plant will continue to operate, the release said. Pilgrim''s Pride expects to be able to offer positions at other facilities to many of the employees whose jobs are impacted at the Athens, Alabama plant. The company will provide transition programs to employees who are not retained in order to assist them in securing new employment, filing for unemployment and obtaining other applicable benefits. Pilgrim’s Pride management said idling the plants is “absolutely critical” to its future and is done to protect the jobs of its 41,000 employees and 4,500 growers. The company is emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.