SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) --- After two years of production, Del Monte Foods will close its plant in Siloam Springs immediately, affecting more than 200 employees, according to a news release.
The Siloam Springs plant closed as a result of Del Monte Foods selling its Sager Creek vegetable business to McCall Farms, Inc.
A company official said some employees will stay on to help with the transition after the sale. There won't be any severance pay, but former employees will be compensated and benefit-eligible for 60 days, the official said.
But a former employee says even with the two month grace period finding another job is going to be hard. "As you can imagine they're going to be little jobs because everyone's gonna be looking for the same job so that's the hardest part is not knowing if there's enough jobs to go around." said the employee.
“The Sager Creek brands do not align with the long-term business strategies and growth opportunities for Del Monte Foods,” said Dave Meyers, chief operating officer of Del Monte Foods. “This divesture allows us to focus our energy and resources to strengthen our core business, driving innovation and exploring new products and experiences that meet the evolving needs of today’s consumer.”
Del Monte Foods will continue to be the point of service for all retail and foodservice customers of Sager Creek through early 2018, and will work closely with McCall Farms to support a seamless transition to the McCall’s organization, the release said.
This morning, employees were seen leaving the plant at 1020 E. Jefferson St. carrying boxes.
With layoffs happening right before the holidays that employee is uncertain of how she and her son will make it through.
"I'm definitely in a bind because you know you don't prepare for this.""The holidays are gonna be hard i mean any job is better than no job and right now no job really sucks." said the employee.
Del Monte came to Siloam Springs in March 2015 after buying the Sager Creek Vegetable Company.
The Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce and city officials will work to help displaced workers find employment opportunities, according to Holland Hayden, city spokeswoman.
"Between factories and industries in in the immediate surrounding area, there are 150 plus available jobs currently," Hayden said. "Additionally, the organizations will work with Arkansas Workforce Services, local employment agencies and directly with company human resources representatives to fill jobs."