Local Pilgrim's Pride workers face uncertain future - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local Pilgrim's Pride workers face uncertain future

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CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) -- Dozens of workers at Pilgrim's Pride in Chattanooga are now out of jobs. The poultry plant announced the layoffs Thursday giving the employees just a day to collect their belongings.

William Woods has been stacking heavy palettes at the Market Street facility for ten months.

"That's a lot of hard work. For one break for 30 minutes out of eight hours. That's straight slavery to me," says Woods.

Feathers were ruffled when he and 84 other workers received pink slips, learning the next day would be their last. Woods believes management knew about the plan for some time.

"They come to us like they didn't know nothing. Like they just found out themselves. But that's not true," claims Woods. He blames simple mismanagement.

It took Woods a year to find this job after getting laid off from the West Main Street facility in 2010. Now he's back to square one, wondering where he'll get his next dollar.

"It's going to be pretty hard," says Woods.

He'll have to head back to the unemployment line and pound the pavement hunting for a new job. Although he's dissatisfied with management, Woods was happy to be working and didn't want to spread his wings and fly.

"I love my job," exclaims Woods. He says he just wishes different people were in charge.

He's also thinking of the other twenty or so co-workers on his line who were also handed their walking papers, hoping for a little help from the pull of a sort of divine wishbone.

"I just hope everybody will be alright. Keep their heads up," says Woods. "Put it in the Lord's hands."

Wood says he plans to apply for a job at Volkswagen among other places. As of the end of 2011 Pilgrim's Pride employed around 1500 people. Another worker Friday says she's getting laid off, too, but doesn't have to leave until sometime next month.

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