Wayne Farms to lay off hundreds of employees

Wayne Farms to lay off hundreds of employees

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Wayne Farms announced in a news release that they will be laying off hundred of employees.

A shift in customer product requirements has prompted Wayne Farms LLC to realign production in its Laurel, MS facility, according to the release.

The statement is as followed:

As part of a long term agreement, 100% of the poultry processed at the facility will be allocated to a single customer. Because of the nature of the arrangement, Wayne Farms will no longer have need for the deboning lines in Laurel, and will discontinue this process. The cessation of deboning processing will not involve the entire facility, and does not affect Wayne Farms' live operations including hatchery, feed mill or farms, as the same volume of birds will be raised and processed as today. Approximately 500 employees will be impacted by this change which will be completed in June 2016.

"In the dynamic and challenging business environment we're in today, this agreement gives our Laurel facility the production stability that allows us to be competitive in the market. This also forces us to make the difficult decision to eliminate deboning lines that we no longer need," said Clint Rivers, Chief Operating Officer of Wayne Farms in an issued statement. "We've made a large investment in the facility here and in order to maximize that investment for the long term, we look for long-term agreements with business partners," said Rivers. "Overall it was a business decision for the long term. Our facility will continue to run, our local farmers and suppliers won't be impacted, and we can help our employees as they look for opportunities in this field or other fields."

The news release did say that where possible, Wayne Farms will work to offer employment opportunities at other Wayne Farms' locations.

Wayne Farms will also collaborate with local employment service agencies to coordinate job placement assistance to those affected employees.