Fire Still Burns at Wisconsin Meat Packing Plant, 1,450 Idled

July 8, 2009

The fire continued to burn July 7 at Patrick Cudahy Inc., a meat packing plant in Cudahy Wis. About 350 managerial and clerical employees are back at work in unaffected areas.

The meatpacking plant is in Cudahy, a suburb of about 18,000 residents just south of downtown Milwaukee. The fire started late Sunday night and continued burning Monday. Firefighters hope to have it out by late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The plant has 1,800 employees. About 80 percent are production workers, who have been idled indefinitely until the fire goes out and company officials can assess the scope of the damage.

Dan Habighorst is the plant’s vice president of human resources. He says the company isn’t paying the production workers and is encouraging them to apply for unemployment benefits.

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