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Smithfield Packing to consolidate packaged meats production

The Smithfield Packing Company, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, is to shift production from its Portsmouth, Virginia plant to Kinston, North Carolina and permanently close the Portsmouth facility in early 2013.

The closure of the Portsmouth plant, which produces hot dogs and lunchmeat will affect approximately 425 hourly and salaried employees. Transfers to other facilities will be offered to some employees and the company will negotiate with union officials regarding potential opportunities related to this transition.

"We deeply regret having to close this facility. We recognise that layoffs and plant closings are difficult for everyone concerned. But at the same time, we believe this is a necessary business decision. We are committed to our workforce and will work diligently to transfer as many employees as possible to our other operations in North Carolina and Virginia," said Tim Schellpeper, president of Smithfield Packing.

"The Portsmouth facility was constructed in the 1970s and, after a thorough analysis, it was determined that the plant cannot support the changes in manufacturing technology and product development necessary to meet our needs. While this was a difficult decision, this change will improve the overall efficiency of our company and enable us to continue to provide our customers with the highest quality products," added Schellpeper.

Source: Smithfield Foods

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