Smithfield Closing Facility

February 1/Norfolk, Va./The Virginian-Pilot( -- Smithfield Foods Inc. plans to close a facility in Smithfield that makes barbecued ribs, stews and soups in March, laying off 53 workers.

"Our business is growing faster than that facility is capable of handling," said Jeff Gough, Smithfield's vice president for human resources. He declined to elaborate.

The Ham and Products Facility is near the Smithfield Packing Co. North plant in Smithfield. It will be closed on March 26, Gough said.

The closing will not affect consumers, Gough said. "All of those products will continue to be manufactured at other Smithfield food facilities" or will be outsourced to other companies, he said.

Gough said the employees would be eligible to apply for other openings at the company, including those in the area. Smithfield and the union representing the workers, the Laborers' International Union of North America, are negotiating a severance package, Gough said.

From the February 2, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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