SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods is on track to close the Saag’s Specialty Meats facility in San Leandro, California, but workers at the plant are protesting the severance package on offer.
Smithfield is transferring all production from Saag’s to other Smithfield facilities and will close Saag’s by June 28. Saag’s specializes in the production of premium deli meat and sausage products.
A report in the San Francisco Chronicle stated that workers planned to protest the severance package offered by Smithfield calling it insulting.
“Smithfield, a people-oriented company, is committed to assisting the 81 impacted employees with this transition,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president, Corporate Affairs and Compliance. “To that end, we have partnered with the Workforce Development Board and had them onsite at the end of May to explain all the resources available to impacted employees through CalJOBS.
“Impacted employees have been provided a resource with whom to work to assist in getting them connected with other services like Covered California medical benefits.
“In addition, we have been working with other employers in the area that are hiring to conduct job fairs at our facility,” Lombardo continued. “Our focus is on finding impacted employees their next job. Any employees willing to move to another Smithfield location are also eligible.”
Smithfield gained Saag’s Specialty Meats as part of its 2017 acquisition of Clougherty Packing LLC, a subsidiary of Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods Corp. The deal added Los Angeles-based Farmer John and Saag’s to Smithfield’s portfolio along with two processing plants and three PFFJ LLC farms in Arizona, California and Wyoming. The purchase price was $145 million in cash, which was adjusted for working capital.