Workers threaten strike at one of the biggest US Chicken processors

CALIFORNIA - The chicken processing facility on the verge of a strike is the largest in one of the biggest poultry companies in the nation.

Privately held Foster Farms, the seventh-largest poultry company in the United States, processes 600,000 chickens each day here, making up a significant portion of the company's nearly $1.6 billion in 2004 sales.

The slaughterhouse and processor's impact on the area is so huge, the city has two wastewater treatment plants -- one with a capacity of 2 million gallons a day for residential users, and another that can handle 4 million gallons daily for Foster Farms.

"They are a very big and very good customer for us," said Livingston Public Works Director Paul Creighton, who added that the plant drinks up more than half the water the city of 12,000 uses.

Foster Farms' roots in Merced County stretch back to the middle of the last century, when it bought the Livingston plant in 1959.

The company was founded in 1939 by Max and Verda Foster, according to the financial analyst Hoover's Online. It employs about 10,500 people in its nine plants in four states.

Livingston also serves as the company's corporate headquarters. About 2,300 processing workers are involved in the current labor dispute in Livingston; the plant employs another 1,000 in areas like administration and transportation, which are not unionized.

Source: MercredSun-star
calendar icon 20 May 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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