Sioux City meatpacking plant closing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sioux City meatpacking plant closing

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SIOUX CITY (KWWL) -- The John Morrell & Co. meatpacking plant announced plans to close this spring.  The decision affects about 1,500 workers.

The Sioux City Economic Development Director said the city's Mayor received the official news Tuesday.

Plant manager Dan Pacquin said the plant will close April 20.  The plant is one of the largest employers in the community.

Governor Chet Culver said the news is heartbreaking to him, Northwest Iowa, and the workers affected.

"My administration had been in communication with Smithfield, and we were prepared and ready to work with them on ways to bring new investment into the plant. Unfortunately, as a result of this national economic recession, Smithfield executives made the decision to close this facility," Culver said.

He continued on to say he was standing with the workers before the decision, and he is still standing with them today and every day.

"I have ordered Iowa Workforce Development to implement their rapid response program. IWD staff will immediately begin working with employees on what options exist as they prepare for this transition. And I have directed IWD and the Iowa Department of Economic Development to work with local officials in Sioux City on how we can attract new businesses and find new jobs for these employees," Culver added.

Smithfield Foods Inc., based in Smithfield Virginia, owns John Morrell.  Smithfield Foods is the nation's largest pork producer.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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