Smithfield Foods announced the closing of the company's South Plant in Smithfield, Va., and knew there would be layoffs. However, that estimate has now dropped from fewer than 30 workers from the original 340 estimated originally, according to a report in the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., quoting Jeff Gough, Smithfield's vice president of human resources.
The South Plant's operations will be consolidated into Smithfield Foods' nearby North Plant.
Gough chalks the lack of layoffs to the fact that the company didn't hire any permanent workers, rather it filled positions with temps for the time being and let attrition reduce overall head count on its own.
After the consolidation of the two plants is completed, more than 2,600 people will work at the North Plant, which has been given a $22 million expansion.
Still, there is a legal case pending with the union that represents the South Plant employees. That case was due to come before a judge in early December, but the National Labor Relations Board postponed it, and the hearing has yet to be rescheduled.