Pilgrim's Pride plans to eliminate 200 jobs in Chattanooga area

Pilgrim's Pride plans to eliminate 200 jobs in Chattanooga area

July 12th, 2013 by Ellis Smith in Local - Breaking News

A Pilgrim's Pride employee unloads a chicken truck at the chicken processing plant in downtown Chattanooga.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Pilgrim's Pride today confirmed reports that it will eliminate 200 jobs in the Chattanooga area, building on several waves of previous layoffs in 2012.

The company employed more than 1,500 workers at its Broad Street and Market Street facilities at the beginning of 2012, but today employs fewer than 1,000.

There are no changes at the company's "kill" operation on Broad street, nor to its deboning operation on Market street.

However, its cook and cold-storage facilities, which are in its Market Street building, will shut down within the next two weeks.

A spokesman said that employees would be offered jobs at Pilgrim's Pride's remaining downtown Chattanooga facilities, and that 40 jobs had already been added at the deboning plant.

The operation is part of a larger realignment at Pilgrim's Pride that has been ongoing since May, which has seen Chattanooga moved from the prepared foods division to the small bird deboning division.

The eliminated cooking and cold storage operations are being consolidated at more modern and efficient facilities elsewhere in the region, said spokesman Cameron Bruett.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.