Thursday, 25 May, 2017

Butterball closing Illinois plant, will cut 600 jobs

Francis Olson | 19 May, 2017, 20:07

Butterball LLC said Thursday it will close its bacon processing plant in Montgomery and cut about 600 full-time jobs by July 17.

About four years ago, Butterball bought Montgomery-based Gusto Packing Co., a maker of pork and turkey products under private labels for retail and food services nationwide. "The employees have been very loyal to this facility for a long time, and the sudden closure comes as a shock to them and to us", Village President Matt Brolley said in a prepared statement.

"Talk about a very hard one-two punch for all these families", said Chris Lauzen, chairman of the Kane County board, on the timing of the plant-closing announcements.

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Butterball executives said they intend to find work at other facilities for employees willing to relocate, but many likely will be unwilling or unable to make the move. The employees are not unionized. Most of the plant's products will be discontinued.

It appears Butterball is returning its sole focus to turkey. In a statement, Butterball COO Jay Jandrain said: "Today, we shared with our employees the very hard decision that, to meet evolving consumer and customer needs and to address changes in market conditions, Butterball will phase out production and close our Montgomery, Ill. plant on or about July 17, 2017". Earlier this year, Caterpillar Inc. announced it was phasing out production at its Montgomery plant and moving those functions to other factories.

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