Pilgrim's Pride to close corporate headquarters, East Texans react

PITTSBURG, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

PITTSBURG, TX (KLTV) - Another blow to the East Texas economy is announced, as Pilgrim's pride officials reveal they are closing the company's corporate headquarters.

The office, which is between Mount Pleasant and Pittsburg employs more than 150 workers.

Now, those good paying jobs are leaving our community.

Many say the company is not just closing an office but changing a way of life for two East Texas towns. The shut down of Pilgrim's Pride corporate headquarters means a loss of 158 jobs.

"The workers we are losing now are the cream of the crop - some of the best leaders of the corporation," said Mt. Pleasant Mayor Jerry Boatner. "This is part of the Pilgrim's Pride merger with JBS."

It was a merger that took place after Pilgrim's Pride was forced into bankruptcy. The company denied an on-camera interview, but released a statement that read, "There will be no impact on Pilgrim's Pride processing facilities or operations, as none of the jobs being eliminated are production-related."

"You either had someone who is a family member who worked for Pilgrim's or you knew someone that worked for them or you lived by one of the chicken farms," said Kenneth Griggs. "That whole community up there is tied to Pilgrim's Pride."

Kenneth Griggs grew up in Pittsburg. His family members have worked for Pilgrim's Pride for generations. Although the company says production jobs in Mt. Pleasant and Pittsburg won't be impacted, Griggs says the community is afraid there will be a trickle down effect.

"I've heard people say that this is kind of the end of the roller coaster of the last few years...I think this is the beginning sadly," said Griggs. "I think it is all going to get worse."

As for the five story building that will be left behind, the Pittsburg mayor is hopeful it will attract new business.

"Rather than having one industry, this has pushed the county and city to look at diversity," said Pittsburg Mayor Shawn Kennington.

Pilgrim's has not released plans for the soon to be empty building.

East Texans have had a lot to say about this. Scroll down to the comments section to read their thoughts and respond.

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