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650 people to lose jobs when area Perdue plant closes

Published On: Jan 15 2014 03:15:28 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 02:12:30 PM CST

A chicken-processing plant on the Berks-Lebanon county line is closing, putting hundreds of people out of work.

FREDERICKSBURG, Pa. -

A chicken-processing plant on the Berks-Lebanon county line is closing, putting hundreds of people out of work.

The Perdue-owned Booth Creek Natural Chicken plant in Fredericksburg, Lebanon Co., will be closing its doors on March 14th, along with a distribution center in Denver, Lancaster Co., putting 650 people out of work.

"I really feel bad for the people. It is going to put a lot of people that have families in dire straits with the job market and in not marketable skills to be able to work anywhere else," said Stacie Allen, of Jonestown.

"I do not think it is fair. People have a right to have a job and right now, with the times, it is not easy," said Nina Faust.

In a news release, Lester Gray, Perdue's senior vice president, said, "When we looked at our long-term needs, it became clear that the BCNC plant would require significant and costly upgrades, and even then, we would not overcome the age and physical limitations of the facility."

In addition to the jobs lost, community members said it is a shame another business is closing shop.

"I hate to see another building just sitting and unfortunately that place was built for that purpose and I doubt it will be filled," said Allen.

Perdue is allowing the employees to transfer to one of its other facilities in Delaware, Maryland or Virginia or to take a severance package.