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Hormel Discontinuing Hog-Slaughtering In Austin

November 7, 1987

AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) _ Geo. A. Hormel & Co. will try to find new jobs within its flagship plant for about 300 employees when the company discontinues hog-slaughtering at the plant in January, a Hormel official said Friday.

″We are looking at all of our plant locations to determine where we might move some manufacturing out to move to the Austin plant,″ said Chuck Nyberg, Hormel senior vice president.

Hormel announced Friday it will stop slaughtering at its Austin plant, effective Jan. 2. That will leave only one Hormel plant that slaughters hogs - in Fremont, Neb. - and Hormel has indicated it’s thinking about ending slaughtering there, too.

Company representatives had been meeting with union officials since July to explore ways of keeping the slaughtering operation at Austin going but the meetings failed to produce any alternative, said William Hunter, a group vice president for Hormel.

Although pork margins have improved, he said, expanded capacities of large- volume, low-cost slaughterers forced the company to look to other sources for acquiring raw materials.

Hormel has slaughtered hogs in Austin since the Fortune 500 company was founded in the southern Minnesota city in 1891, Nyberg said.

Earlier this year Hormel closed its Ottumwa, Iowa, plant. The Excel Corp. later leased the Ottumwa plant with an option to buy.

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