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Land O’Frost to close Pullman manufacturing plant, cut 215 jobs

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Deli meats company Land O’Frost will lay off 215 workers when it shutters its plant in Pullman, according to a filing under the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The company said it plans to move its manufacturing business from the plant at 700 E. 107th St. to other facilities. Job cuts are scheduled to start June 17.

“After careful consideration, we have made the decision to transition our portfolio of products currently produced at the Pullman facility to other locations within our manufacturing network,“ Land O’Frost said in an emailed statement. “Unfortunately, this move entails the gradual elimination of all Land O’Frost positions at the Pullman site throughout this year. “

It started operating at the facility after purchasing DaBecca Natural Foods, which was located at the site, in 2022.

The company didn’t give reasons for closing the plant, but said it was an “incredibly difficult decision.” Laid-off employees will receive comprehensive severance packages with benefits.

“We are confident that consolidating operations will enhance our ability to serve our customers effectively and to our standard of excellence,” Land O’Frost said.

Headquartered in Munster, Indiana, Land O’Frost said it’s the country’s largest family-owned packaged meats manufacturer and it has about 1,500 employees. It has a plant in Lansing as well as a plant in Madisonville, Kentucky, and Searcy, Arkansas.

Dutch immigrant Antoon Van Eekeren started the company in 1941 in Chicago. The third-generation family business is now headed by CEO David Van Eekeren.

Other food manufacturing plants in Illinois have recently announced closures. Oberweis Dairy, known for its ice cream stores and milk packaged in glass bottles, said last month that it would be closing its North Aurora plant, laying off 127 workers after filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In March, Blommer Chocolate Co. announced it will cut 250 jobs when it closes its iconic factory in the heart of Chicago at the end of May. The company cited increasing costs of running the aging facility at 600 W. Kinzie St., which started operations in 1939.

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