TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas business sees massive layoffs and it seems no one knows why. After 70 years in Tyler, Loggins Meat Company may be closing its doors for good.
Rumors began circulating about the company last week when plant operations just seemed to stop.
The signs that have marked Loggins Meat Company for seven decades remain, but the workers do not. A normally packed parking lot sat empty. The few employees left walked in alone.
"This kind of sudden announcement is very much a surprise to everyone, said Tom Mullins with Tyler Economic Development Council.
The news broke from everywhere except the business in question - rumors saying employees were told they would not be returning to work.
"[It is a] very strong company, family owned, very successful and suddenly you start hearing that they're closing and no one really seems to be sure why," said Mullins.
Phone calls left for owner Bobby Loggins went unreturned, but the company confirmed the worst in a phone call to East Texas Workforce Solutions Wednesday morning.
"We made contact with them and they informed us that there were 250 employees that were laid off," said East Texas Workforce Director Steve Lynch.
Lynch watched as the first newly unemployed Loggin's workers walked in looking for help.
"It is our understanding that the layoff would be a permanent layoff," said Lynch.
It could put a permanent end to the meat company who expanded to Lufkin less than five years ago. No prior problems and no filings for bankruptcy leave the reason behind the layoffs and employees futures unknown.
"These people who are getting those paychecks are spending it primarily in the local community...now that all changes because suddenly they're without an income," said Mullins.
Loggins employees did say processing has stopped. The only job left is packing all remaining product in a soon to be empty warehouse.
The Rapid Response Office at Workforce Commission says they are working with the company to help the newly unemployed. They are currently planning a seminar for workers to discuss benefits, services, and possible re-training.