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Oakwood-based Wayne Farms laying off 500 at Mississippi plant
Contract won't affect Pendergrass processing facility
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LAUREL, Miss. — An Oakwood-based poultry company says its Laurel, Miss., plant will close its deboning lines and lay off about 500 workers by the end of June.

Wayne Farms LLC said in a news release that one customer has contracted for the entire plant’s output but wants only whole birds.

Spokesman Frank Singleton said in a telephone interview that about 200 workers will remain at the plant, which processes about 650,000 birds a week. He said the contract runs through 2018.

He said he’s not sure when the first layoffs will come.

The contract won’t affect Wayne Farms’ 10 other plants: one each in North Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas and seven in Alabama. The Georgia plant is in Pendergrass.

Singleton said some of the Laurel workers may be able to move to other plants.