More than 100 Smithfield workers will lose their jobs at the company’s distribution center in Clayton, but an expansion of the Tar Heel plant, not ongoing nuisance lawsuits, are behind the facility’s closure.
Dennis Organ, senior vice president of supply chain and direct store delivery, issued a statement yesterday noting that the company has invested $100 million to expand the plant in Tar Heel, and 250 positions will be added as a result of the expansion.
Clayton employees will be offered positions at the Tar Heel operation and elsewhere, according to a company statement.
It’s unclear how many workers will transfer to Tar Heel, which is 80 miles south of Clayton.
Smithfield’s packaged meats division increased its profit this year — nearly 11 percent. But according to an August report to investors, WH Group, Smithfield’s China-based parent corporation noted that President Trump’s tariffs had dented profits in the US fresh pork segment. “Profits declined significantly due to an overabundant supply of meat in the market and trade tensions,” the report read.
Operating profit decreased by 3.8 percent in the US to $867 million, which the company attributed to inflation in wages and logistical costs.