Pilgrim’s in Boaz To Close in January

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BOAZ, Ala. (WHNT) - There's news of a large economic blow coming to Marshall County.  Pilgrim's announced to employees Tuesday it will close its poultry processing plant in Boaz.

There had been talk of the plant closing for weeks, but employees officially received word Tuesday during meetings held through the different shifts.  Approximately 1,100 people work at the plant in Boaz, according to information released by the company, and Pilgrim's is the largest employer in Marshall County.

Pilgrim's said the plant's closure is part of a company strategy to improve efficiencies and generate approximately $200 million in savings in 2014.

"Today's announcement reflects the strength of our balance sheet, our willingness to strategically invest in our business and our continued commitment to the pursuit of operational excellence," said Bill Lovette, President and CEO of Pilgrim's Pride Corporation. "Given our decision to consolidate operations, our intent is to offer retention incentives to encourage many of our Boaz team members to remain with the company in different capacities. We are confident these capital improvement projects will position the company, our stakeholders and our team members for success for many years to come."

Company officials told employees they expect the vast majority of people to be offered positions at Pilgrim's plants in Guntersville or Russellville.  Those who go to Russellville will be given a moving allowance.

Pilgrim's also plans to add 100 jobs in Russellville and 100 jobs at the plant in Douglas, Georgia.  There are additional upgrades, including:

-$10 million to upgrade the feed mill in Falkville, AL
-$25 million to expand the large bird deboning capacity and modernize utilities at Mt. Pleasant, TX
-$25 million to upgrade the feed mill and processing operations in Enterprise, AL

Boaz Mayor Tim Walker says he's upset by the announcement, because the city gave the plant tax incentives for things like utility improvements.  Pilgrim's also plans to strip the plant, and Walker said this will make it harder for another company to locate inside.

Mayor Walker attended a meeting with plant employees Tuesday afternoon, as did State Senator Clay Scofield, whose district includes Boaz.  Sen. Scofield is also one of the plant's poultry growers.

The Boaz plant is scheduled to close January 24.


  • Mike C.

    I known about this for two weeks now but it’s been hush , it just now broke news . Anyways it’s sad this is happenng to hard working individuals right at Christmas time . Boaz wanted to build a indoor water park , and they can’t even keep businesses open , boaz needs change and they need it fast . They need incentives for business to bring manufacturing jobs to boaz , the way it sits boaz will retail itself into a slow economic death.

    Sad day in boaz and a bad year for the city , pray for these families .

      • AJ

        Pilgrims does not hire illegal immigrants. All employees have to go through a I-9 process through the United States government.

      • Soon to be out of a job

        To the guy that said half are illegal and who care that is so wrong !!! I have worked there many years a lot of good people there now we have to start over and that’s not easy !!

      • mose man

        Pilgrims Pride is got bought out by a man in argentina you think he cares about us hes the largest meat producer in the world we as chicken growers get less then 6 cents a pound he makes millions no speak englas

      • jessa

        your so ignorant who cares there will be alot of ppl without jobs my husband for one who is not hispanic but even if he was its still a very hard thing to deal with regardless of race whats really scary is that there are so many uneducated ppl out there like yourself who dont understand how the tax system works. if your going to be cruel and childish you need to learn how to spell . Mexican thats how you spell it you made yourself look dumb.

  • mamac

    Well it just keeps coming don’t it. The ball keeps rolling and getting bigger and bigger Obama I thought you said the other day you just add like 100,000 jobs but now this plant to is closing really? All the AMERICANS needs prayers our COUNTRY needs it bad.

  • Soon to be an unemployed worker

    We were told about this at a meeting at 11 AM this morning, I still can’t believe I’m losing my job there…

  • A soon to be unemployed Live Hanger

    I have been an employee for 13 years, and cant believe it myself. Yes, I was at the meeting today and nobody said anything about gutting the plant out but it was in the news that they were going to do that. That shows how the plant lies to their employees. There goes helping the city of boaz out…

    • Wake Up

      In a non-union, right to work state, capitalists do not have to tell you anything and can do whatever they want. Without a union, the workers are on their own rather than having the power of many!

  • A soon to be unemployed Live Hanger

    Happy Thanksgiving from Pilgrims Pride to Us…We the employees are losing our jobs!!

  • Sad lady

    It is sad bc me & my husband work there & we have 4 kids , at lest we get 2 work thru Christmas please keep all of us n ur prays we r going 2 need then

  • Guy From Boaz

    Those of you who work at this plant or know someone who does needs to check up on the labor laws. This company has to pay you a severance and also some additional money if you want to go to school to better you education. There may also be other things in which this company may by law have to pay you for. Of course, they would not advertise this. It would not benefit them to do that.

    • worker

      Thay said thay were not paying severance pay only $500 if we stay until January 24th when asked do we still get the $500 if our department closes early thay said no

      • Guy From Boaz

        Okay, if your department closes early (shorter than 60 days from now) then you are entitled to severance pay. Federal law requires they give you at least 60 days notice before they close your area. This is why there needs to be a union in the poultry industry.

  • quit blaming mayor

    Its not the mayors fault.The company should have been ran better and this wouldn’t happend.Sorry to the ones who are losing jobs tho

    • mose man

      pilgrims pride is run by a bunch of losers thay could not rase a chicken if thay had to and yes thay do have illegals i know .

  • Guy From Boaz

    Don’t let them fool you. I’m not an expert on labor laws, but they do have to provide you with a severance. I’m pretty sure it’s a formula that breaks it down to something like 3% of your yearly gross income for every year of employment with the company. I think the 3% is roughly a weeks pay, but I’m not sure. They also MUST provide you with some form of incentive if you choose to go to college to better yourself. I’m a little fuzzy on what exactly and how exactly this works, but I’m sure you can look these labor laws up online. Also, most lawyers don’t charge you for a visit just to give you advice. I mean a severance package, unemployment benefits, and cash to go back to school so you can escape from an industry that is going to screw you time me time again might not be a bad deal. Just saying.

    • Mason

      There is union in poultry plants…shows what u know…my girl friend has been in poultry for23 yrs …pilgrims pride I guntersville isn’t closing and they alway hiring…they have work many Saturday to cover boaz work..they should have thought about not having a job when they had one and done it…

  • Iron Deuce

    Heavenly Father, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land so to use our public and private wealth that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment, and receive just payment for their labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • daughter of pilgrims employee

    My mom has ben an employee for 11 years. Pilgrims has a record of highering illegal immigrants. My mom has told me on numerous occasions where they were people getting deported because they were illegal, then within a month they are right back using a different name. I have two young sisters still in school and while yes my “dad” has a job he refuses to pay bills and claims he is always broke. How are our families going to make it? Of coarse ill help my mom and my sisters any way i possibly can but i cant afford to pay my bills and hers. Especially when i have a dad who still lives in the house and he makes pretty good money. Finding another job, especially now is hard. Our government and our country is going down hill at a very fast pace. My mother always told me if you aint got nothin nice to say dont say nothin so im gonna say one thing then im done. The best thing we can do for our country is take back yhe power and get OBAMA out of office.

  • mose man

    Pilgrims Pride will get a big tax break for shutting down this plant way up in the millions you people just dont no how much thay will make way up in the millions i work in the main office so this is true.

  • eddie braxton johhnson

    Blame it on the governor!.he tried so hard to rid alabama of cheap labor!!. the idea was to give alabamians jobs at twice the wage they were paying the ‘mexicans’. most companies that are closing lately can’t pay the ‘alabamians’ that wage!.you know, ….stuff like that increases spending at the cost of production, research and development. nothing personal here, pure business!!..its everywheere

  • eddie braxton johhnson

    its just business people!. you can’t pay 15-17/hr for a business that depends on so many variables and expect to compete…i knew ex-cons that worked there and didn’t fuss much about the pay cuz there were on parole. illegals who were ‘glad’ to get a paycheck every week cuz they didn’t have papers. business was good….yeah go figure what went wrong from the above equation.

  • Wake Up

    The CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Fabio Sandri, receives a compensation package worth $888,990 per year. That is $74,082 per month, $18,520 per week, $3,704 per day, and figuring a 10 hour work day — $370 per hour.

    • Wake Up

      A state that does whatever they can to create a “business friendly” environment will always leave the workers at a disadvantage. Alabama is such a state. Only when the workers gather together as one strong force can they get a fair shake! Otherwise, you are at the mercy of the employers/corporations!

    • Wake Up

      April, who knows. What I do know is that in our “business friendly” right to work state — the workers will be the last to know!

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