Chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride to cut jobs

08-01-2009 | |

Because of cost-cutting measure nearly 100 workers at Pilgrim’s Pride’s poultry plant in Athens, Georgia will lose their jobs early February, when the company eliminates its night shift.

The cutback will affect 227 employees at Pilgrim’s Pride’s fresh food division, but the company will move more than 50 of those people into the daytime processing shift and 70 to 90 others into the company’s supply division in Athens.

The measure is part of a plan to improve the company’s competitive position and return to profitability.
America’s largest chicken producer, Pilgrim’s Pride has been hurt by negative market movements.
Most of all the company has been saddled by debt due to the acquisition of rival Gold Kist Inc. in 2007, which $1.3 billion acquisition now is the primary cause of its large debt load.
On Dec. 30, the poultry producer received final approval from the bankruptcy court for up to $450 million in financing to keep operating while it is under bankruptcy protection.