Smithfield anticipates fewer layoffs at plant
January 8, 2010
by Bryan Salvage
SMITHFIELD, VA. – Smithfield Foods Inc. earlier anticipated it would lay off approximately 340 workers when it closed its dated Smithfield, Va. (“South”) meat processing plant. But on Dec. 7, it said it will lay off fewer than 30 workers, according to The Associated Press.
The largest pork producer in the U.S. now plans to transfer about 800 employees to a nearby packing plant over the next two months. In addition to the transfers, Smithfield said a combination of attrition plus a hiring freeze helped it avoid more layoffs. When Smithfield first announced the restructuring, it said more than 1,000 people would be offered transfers to either the North plant or plants in North Carolina.
Smithfield executives said closing its South plant, which employed about 1,375 people would help the company focus on more profitable packaged meats like bacon, executives said.