SIOUX CITY, IOWA - John Morrell & Co., a subsidiary of Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield Foods, will close its pork processing plant in Sioux City two weeks early, according to The Associated Press.

In January, the company announced the plant would close on April 20, citing the age of the 52-year-old plant and the economy as the deciding factors behind the decision. This week, however, workers were reportedly told April 8 would be the last day for slaughter operations. Workers say, however, they will be paid until April 20.

A Smithfield representative said in an April 7 e-mail to the Sioux City Journal that April 20 remains the date for "permanently" closing the plant.