News update:Oct 20, 2011

Keystone Foods lays off over 100 workers

Keystone Foods has laid off 118 employees at its Gadsden plant to reduce costs. Plant GM Mike Jackson said the reduction in 100 hourly workers that was described as “rightsizing” is temporary.

“In an effort to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in a competitive marketplace, Equity Group Alabama has taken steps to optimize our operations and implement cost reductions,” said Jackson, adding that the reduction was part of a wider work force reduction in the company’s US poultry division that includes about 70 salaried and 225 hourly positions.

“This is a temporary layoff because of current market conditions,” said Mike McCain, executive director of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority. “It’s not something they expect to be permanent. I think ... after spending $118 mln on this plant and building it for the current plus an expanded staffing level that gives a lot of credibility to the company’s assertion that it is a temporary layoff and not a reduction.”

Keystone provides chicken to industrial clients and restaurants. Its customers include McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

Source: The Gadsden Times

Natalie Berkhout

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