SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) -- Smithfield Foods says it will lay off fewer than 30 workers when it closes a Virginia plant this spring, a fraction of the 340 it projected when the company announced the move last year.
Vice President of Human Resources Jeff Gough told the Daily Press of Newport News that the company will transfer about 800 employees to a nearby packing plant over the next two months.
Gough says Smithfield was able to avoid massive layoffs through attrition and a hiring freeze.
Last February, the company announced that it would shutter its dated South plant, which employed about 1,375. At the time, Smithfield said more than 1,000 would be offered transfers to either the North plant or to plants in North Carolina. The plant closure was part of a companywide consolidation intended to save $125 million a year by 2011.