Pilgrim’s Pride plant shutdown costs more than 800 people their jobs

Posted May 23, 2008

— Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in this town of 8,500 people shutdown Friday, throwing more than 800 people out of work.

Ray Atkinson, director of corporate communications for Pilgrim’s Pride, confirmed the closing. Citing market conditions, the company said in March that the plant would be either sold or shuttered. As of Friday, Atkinson said, no buyer had been found.

“To date, none of the interested parties have presented us with a formal offer in an amount that would make us change our plans,” Atkinson said.

Some employees are eligible for severance benefits, he added.

The shutdown also affects some 100 growers who worked with Pilgrim’s Pride on a contract basis. Their workload is being shifted to a Pilgrim’s Pride plant in Sanford that remains open.

The plant is the second-largest employer in Chatham County, where the jobless rate in April ran 4.2 percent with 1,383 people unemployed according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission.


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  • DougWare.NET May 23, 2008

    A lot of people are being laid off. I have a friend who was laid off from a company in RTP (think big and three letters). He went to work for another company in the historic tobacco section of Durham (think cellphones software). A couple of months ago they laid him off. That's twice in about 8 months!

  • lbzebulon May 23, 2008

    I truly feel sorry for all these people. I have been out of work since Feb. Flextronics was my former employer and have still not been able to find a job.

  • uncalumni02 May 23, 2008

    Ummm, WRAL, I'm sure this won't be posted, but it's Employment Security Commission....not Securities.

    It's unfortunate so many people have lost their jobs. I hope they are able to find something soon!