published Friday, July 12th, 2013

Pilgrim’s Pride plans to eliminate 200 jobs in Chattanooga area

A Pilgrim's Pride employee unloads a chicken truck at the chicken processing plant in downtown Chattanooga.
A Pilgrim's Pride employee unloads a chicken truck at the chicken processing plant in downtown Chattanooga.
Photo by Dan Henry.

Pilgrim’s Pride today confirmed reports that it will eliminate 200 jobs in the Chattanooga area, building on several waves of previous layoffs in 2012.

The company employed more than 1,500 workers at its Broad Street and Market Street facilities at the beginning of 2012, but today employs fewer than 1,000.

There are no changes at the company’s “kill” operation on Broad street, nor to its deboning operation on Market street.

However, its cook and cold-storage facilities, which are in its Market Street building, will shut down within the next two weeks.

A spokesman said that employees would be offered jobs at Pilgrim’s Pride’s remaining downtown Chattanooga facilities, and that 40 jobs had already been added at the deboning plant.

The operation is part of a larger realignment at Pilgrim’s Pride that has been ongoing since May, which has seen Chattanooga moved from the prepared foods division to the small bird deboning division.

The eliminated cooking and cold storage operations are being consolidated at more modern and efficient facilities elsewhere in the region, said spokesman Cameron Bruett.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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