Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–Due to a drop in turkey product sales, West Liberty Foods will furlough some workers later this year. Vice President and General Counsel of West Liberty Foods, Dan Waters, explained that slower sales to restaurants left the company with an excess of food in cold storage. This has led West Liberty Foods to need to slow production in order to properly process the back log. “With restaurants closing and Americans sheltering in place, demand for many of our meat products dropped dramatically,” said Waters. “As a result, we have accumulated millions of excess pounds of turkey breast meat in cold storage, and we need to work through that inventory.”

In order for West Liberty Foods to take care of excess inventory, they will continue to process live turkeys as they come in, but the farms that supply them with turkey will not raise more birds for 18 weeks starting at the end of June, which will allow the company to work through their extra stock without letting it go to waste.

Based on when farmers stop placing poults, West Liberty Foods does not plan to process live turkeys from November through February. During this time, approximately 300 employees who work in cut-up, evisceration, and raw packing will get furloughed. All other workers will continue to work their regular jobs and hours. During their furlough, Waters stated they would continue to receive some benefits. “Furloughed employees will receive unemployment benefits, and West Liberty Foods will pay them an additional 25% to supplement those benefits. In addition, we will pay the premiums for them to remain on our health insurance plan for the duration of the furlough.”

Currently, Waters predicts the furloughs to last 18 weeks. However, he did indicate that if demand for turkey increases, West Liberty Foods could consider requesting farmers to begin raising turkeys again sooner. Waters elaborated: “Depending on how fast our industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the furlough may last for less than 18 weeks. We monitor the situation daily and continue to update our forecasts and plans. We will take every opportunity to shorten the furlough period, as we recognize the tremendous impact it has on our employees and turkey growers.”

With fewer employees in the plant during the furloughs, West Liberty Foods intends to make facility upgrades that will help them stay productive and competitive. At this time, the company has not provided specifics on the improvements they plan to make.

Latest News

New Exhibits Opening at Muscatine Art Center in February

Two new exhibitions opening at the Muscatine Art Center this month focus on people. In the ultra-realistic work of...

More Articles Like This

Muscatine Today

MTS- Brandon is here to talk about Fat Cat

Today on the show Scott Schultz from Impact Fitness and Nutrition is here to talk about more healthy fitness tips. Then if you are looking to get your car cleaned up from the winter listen to today's show to learn about a business in town that can help you with that and more..... Thank you to our show sponsors: Harpers Cycling and Fitness, Beckey Insurance, Muscatine Power and Water, RIVO Plumbing and Heating, ImpactLife Blood Center, Lutheran Living, Toyota of Muscatine, Impact Fitness and Nutrition, Sun Tan City Muscatine, Real Estate Resource Associates, UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine and Hy-Vee Muscatine #muscatinetodayshow #goodmorningmuscatine #KindnessIsFree

DMSN Broadcasts

Manta Rays Swim

Join us as the Muskie Boys Basketball team hosts the North Scott Lancers! Watch Your Way: DiscoverMuscatine.com Discover Muscatine Facebook Discover Muscatine YouTube DiscoverMuskie Twitter Muscatine Power and Water Cable Channel 3 Brought to you by Muscatine Power and Water, Muscatine Lawn and Power, Hy-Vee, Bayer of Muscatine, First National Bank of Muscatine, Affordable Metal Manufacturing, Eastern Iowa Power Washers, Arty’s Ice Cream and Grill, Rivo Plumbing and Heating, Riots and Rebelle’s Salon, Bickford Senior Living, Let’s Eat, Muscatine Community Y and the Youth Sports Foundation. #DMSN #MuskieSports #Muscatine #MuskieSchools #basketball #prephoops #prepbasketball

Talk of the Town

February is here–that means spring is coming soon, right?

It's been a weird winter, right? We've had days when it was -40 below zero and others that had temps in the 60s. February...

Muscatine Area News

New Exhibits Opening at Muscatine Art Center in February

Two new exhibitions opening at the Muscatine Art Center this month focus on people. In the ultra-realistic work of Marc Sijan, the spotlight is...