Aid pledged to 600 displaced Cargill workers

  • Article by: BRUCE VIELMETTI , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Updated: August 11, 2014 - 11:16 PM

Closing of Milwaukee slaughterhouse hit many.

Mayor Tom Barrett on Sunday announced plans to provide help to the hundreds of workers from Cargill Inc. who recently lost their jobs when the meat processor announced it was closing its Milwaukee cattle slaughterhouse.

Barrett, along with Ald. Jose Perez and Earl Buford, president of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, announced the plan Sunday. The effort begins Monday with a meeting for the estimated 600 former Cargill workers. It will explain the retraining and re-employment services offered by the HIRE Center during Rapid Response Dislocated Worker sessions.

Cargill announced the closing July 30, and the hundreds of workers were out of jobs almost immediately.

The fired workers will get 60 days of severance pay, and some were offered jobs at other Cargill plants in the region. The company also held its own job fair last week to help the displaced workers connect with other potential employers.

Most workers received no advance notice of the closing and were told during their shift it would be their last. Afterward, many said they felt stunned and betrayed.

The plant provided employment for many immigrant families, and among the workforce one could hear Spanish, Arabic, Swahili and other languages spoken.

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