A struggling Aberdeen beef plant has laid off nearly all its workers.
Northern Beef Packers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday. It let more than 250 workers go Wednesday.
Employment officials in Aberdeen confirm what those who were laid off are saying- the beef plant only has six workers left. People started finding out they were out of work at 10:30 Wednesday morning.
A steady stream of cars leaving the plant followed the layoff announcements. Many had angry or disappointed people inside.
"I'm just upset with the way the plant handled the situation. I think they could have been a little bit more professional about it, kind of given us a heads up," Marco Morales said.
The plant didn't pay its hourly employees Friday. Laid off workers say they're still waiting for that check.
Tanya Glodrey was a supervisor and found out shortly before noon she didn't have a job anymore either.
"Management and supervisors on a salaried basis have not been paid the full month of July," Glodrey said.
The South Dakota Department of Labor office in Aberdeen was busy Wednesday as laid off workers searched for other jobs and looked into unemployment benefits.
"It is my duty to go look for a job, any job, you know. Maybe the farmers or whatever but I'm looking for jobs," Rogelio Aguilar said.
The Aberdeen economy could help. There are more than 1,500 positions listed through the Department of Labor. The beef plant is one place some aren’t planning to look toward any time soon.
"Even if they do call me back, I ain't going to come back. I just hope they call me and say, 'hey, your check's here,'" Morales said.
"It is definitely a disappointing situation, something I don't like to see for anybody, nor myself," Glodrey said.
When we contacted the beef plant, management responded but had not sent any kind of statement as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Officials with the South Dakota Department of Labor will meet with the workers at 10:30 a.m. in the Ramkota theatre Friday.