Am I Next? Zacky Farms mass layoffs with Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Turkeys are synonymous with Thanksgiving and the joyous celebration of abundance.

Not so much for City of Industry, California-based, woman-owned Zacky Farms, a major producer of turkey meat products, which has announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and is closing its corporate offices in Los Angeles, California and its processing plants in Fresno and Stockton, California.

Approximately 500 employees will be laid off. This is not the first time that Zacky Farms has seen financial trouble, emerging from a previous bankruptcy in 2013.

In a statement to workers, the company noted…

“After four generations and an enormous effort to keep the company in sync with the fast pace of changing times, we no longer are able to keep up with business as usual. We have put our best foot forward but as we struggled in the current state of the industry conditions, it has been impossible for us to continue profitably.”

The company also posted this message on their website…

“This message is brought to you from the HR Department at Zacky Farms. It comes with great sorrow that Zacky Farms has announced that it will be winding down its operations. Zacky has struggled in the current state of the industry and it has been impossible for it to continue profitably. Zacky has been diligently engaged in seeking business and capital; however, those exhaustive efforts have been unsuccessful and Zacky must now proceed with steps to cease operations. As Zacky winds down, it is presently expected that all operations will completely cease on January 19, 2019. Employees will be given a formal notification from Zacky concerning their individual employment status.”

“The Company understands that this is a difficult time for everyone (employees, customers, vendors, the community). We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has worked by the company’s side all these years. Thank you for being a part of the Zacky family and allowing us to continue for four generations; without you it would not have been possible.”

At least one employee has filed a lawsuit which they are attempting to certify as a class action, alleging that the company did not provide a required advance notice of the layoffs. The company tells federal officials that it was unable to provide such a notice because it might interfere with the company’s ability to obtain additional funding. In a filing to local, state, and federal officials, the company explained, “Please take notice that Zacky is attempting to provide as much notice as possible. In the preceding months, Zacky has been actively seeking capital which, if obtained, would have enabled Zacky to avoid or postpone the closure of the Zacky plants and Zacky’s management reasonably and in good faith believed that giving notice while these efforts were ongoing would have precluded Zacky from obtaining the requisite capital to avoid the closures.”

It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere ... are you wondering, Am I Next?