Barber Foods to lay off 71 in Portland

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PORTLAND — Barber Foods on Monday announced it is moving its fully-cooked food operations to Oklahoma and eliminating 71 jobs at the company’s St. John Street plant, effective Dec. 10.

This is the second round of layoffs since Barber was acquired by Cincinnati-based AdvancePierre, which employs about 4,000 people and has net sales of about $1.3 billion. In June, Barber eliminated 83 jobs.

Barber Foods President David Barber would not rule out further layoffs as restructuring continues. He said he expects administrative positions to be reduced and noted that $10 million is being invested over the next two years to make the Portland facility “more efficient.”

Workers have been given 60 days notice and are receiving a severance package of one week’s pay for every year of service, Barber said. The production facility will employ about 400 people.

Barber said raw food production will continue in Portland, where 400 people will still be employed.

Products will be shipped to an AdvancePierre facility in Enid, Okla. to be cooked. Cooked food accounts for about 7 percent of Barber’s business.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net. Follow Randy on Twitter: @randybillings.

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