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CALIFORNIA | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

Davis Processing Plant Closes; 450 Jobs Lost

October 14, 1999|(Associated Press)

The Hunt-Wesson tomato processing plant in Davis has closed a year earlier than expected, leaving about 450 employees jobless. The plant closed Tuesday. The company initially planned to shut it down at the end of the 2000 season. About 60 employees will stay on through the end of the year to handle distribution. Workers will have individual termination dates depending on Hunt-Wesson's needs and the logistics of the closing, company spokeswoman Kay Carpenter said in a written statement. Salaried workers will receive severance pay and job counseling, and a package for unionized employees will be negotiated, she said. Bob Diaz, president of Teamsters No. 857, plans to meet with company officials next week to negotiate the package. He said he plans to work with a private industry council and others to find jobs for the workers. Plant closings are becoming all too common in the area, Diaz said. Last year, International Foods in Vacaville closed, a loss of 750 jobs. In 1997, Tri-Valley Plant in Sacramento closed, also leaving 750 without jobs.

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