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John Morrell & Co. to close April 20

By Staff | Jan 22, 2010

SIOUX CITY (AP) – Sioux City officials say the John Morrell & Co. meatpacking plant, one of the city’s largest employers, will close this spring.

The plant has about 1,500 workers.

Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty said Mayor Mike Hobart received the news on Tuesday from plant manager Dan Pacquin, who said the plant would close April 20.

More information was expected on Wednesday, but was not ready by press time.

The John Morrell fresh pork plant has been one of the largest employers in Sioux City for decades,” said U.S. Rep. Steve King R-Iowa. “The announcement of its impending closing not only affects the 1,400 employees at the plant, but also other area businesses that serve this facility.

“Pork producers are also affected at a very tough time in their industry since they will lose a competitive market that is centrally located in the tri-state area.

“Given the current economic crisis, it will take the efforts of all local, state and federal agencies to assist the workers losing their jobs. I and my staff stand ready to assist those affected.

“I am confident in the resilience of western Iowans. It will serve us well as we deal with the loss of a major employer in the Siouxland area.”

Smithfield Foods Inc., based in Smithfield, Va., is the corporate parent of John Morrell. Smithfield Foods is the nation’s largest pork producer.

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