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Athens, Alabama losing chicken plant and jobs

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) - The Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant
in Athens is closing this week, putting hundreds of employees out
of work.

In December, the company, one of the nation's largest chicken
processors, filed for reorganization bankruptcy.

Six months later, officials announced plans to idle plants in
Athens and Athens, Ga.

Previously, the company had announced closings in Douglas, Ga.; Dalton, Ga.; El Dorado, Ark.; and Farmerville, La.

Combined, the closings will impact about 4,250 employees.

Repercussions of the closing will throughout the city.

Athens Utilities says Pilgrim's Pride was its largest water and sewer
customer, spending $4 million annually.

Athens City Schools will also feel the loss of the company's $25 million annual payroll.

The company says some of its Athens, Ala. employees will
transfer to other Alabama plants.


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