NEBRASKA CITY – Diversified Foods and Seasonings met with Nebraska City plant managers and employees Thursday afternoon to announce intentions to close the facility by Jan. 4.
The Nebraska City facility employs about 45 to produce frozen and refrigerated food pouches, including a macaroni and cheese product that is distributed to a variety of vendors.
Dan Mauk of Nebraska City Area EDC said city officials had met with company representatives and had hoped Diversified Foods would remain.
Mauk: “We’re disappointed anytime we lose a local company that impacts some workers. Fortunately, the job market is really strong here and both Honeywell and Cargill are looking for more employees right now.”
Diversified floor worker Bill Dawson of Sidney said workers were told today that the company is moving operations to its Louisiana facility.
Dawson said he asked management directly in September about a possible plant closing. He said he feels that he was misled by management statements that decisions being made would not have a permanent impact on employment.
He said he asked managers why, if they knew for months the plant would close, they would wait until days before Christmas to inform workers.
He said he was told that he doesn’t understand business.
Dawson: “It’s going to be alright for me, but a lot of us live check to check. There was one young guy who got upset because the news was so close to Christmas. I was mad too. It seems like a pretty poor way to treat people.”
The company did not immediately return phones messages from News Channel Nebraska.
The 58,000-square-foot building, that is USDA inspected, was constructed as the Bagelicious plant in the early 1990s.
Mauk: “It does give us now a potential building that we can recruit new industry for. That’s something we have not had in our portfolio.”
Diversified Foods and Seasonings has facilities in Louisiana and Alabama.