Boaz Pilgrim’s Plant Shutdown Nearly A Week Away, County Leaders Looking For Answers

Posted on: 5:25 pm, January 16, 2014, by , updated on: 05:27pm, January 16, 2014

Pilgrim's Plant, Boaz

BOAZ, Ala. (WHNT) —  The shutdown of one of Marshall County’s biggest employers is nearly a week away and Marshall County and city leaders are still looking for answers.

The shutdown date to the Pilgrim’s plant in Boaz is January 24. “I don’t have the details as of yet as to how many employees will be transferred and how many will lose their jobs,” says Marshall County Commission Chair James Hutcheson.

Hutcheson and other county and city leaders were hoping by now, with the shutdown nearly a week away, that they would know that answer.

When Pilgrim’s Corporation announced in November the plant would shut down, it said many of the Boaz plant’s more than 1,000 employees would be re-located to plants in Guntersville and other locations.

“We just haven’t had a lot of input on Pilgrim’s and what they plan on doing,” Hutcheson said.

Another question is what will happen to one of Marshall County’s main economic drivers: the poultry growers. The Pilgrim’s corporation said initially it would work to move the growers to different locations, but Hutcheson says they haven’t heard anything about that either.

We called Pilgrim’s corporate office to determine answers to these questions but our calls were not returned.

Hutcheson says the announcement of the plant’s closure was a hard blow to the county. It’s the county’s biggest employer, and a large number of businesses like the growers depend on it.

The future of the building the plant occupies now is also uncertain. County officials say they haven’t heard anything concrete from Pilgrim’s as to when it will be completely cleaned out and ready to sell.

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