CRF announces layoffs to allow workers to seek seasonal employme - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CRF announces layoffs to allow workers to seek seasonal employment opportunities

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PASCO, WA- CRF Frozen Foods announced plans to lay off an additional 61 employees who have been idled because the company closed its processing facility as part of the current voluntary product recall.

The timing of the layoffs was scheduled to help affected employees find jobs with other local businesses.

“Local employment opportunities are available right now for these skilled workers, so it’s the best time for us to release them to seek jobs,” said Gene Grabowski, spokesperson for CRF Frozen Foods. “The important thing is for these valued team members to continue to earn a living until we can hire them back. We remain committed to giving these team members first priority when the time is right to re-hire staff and restart operations. We look forward to reuniting with them soon, and sincerely appreciate their understanding during this difficult time.”

Early season crops are almost ready for harvest, and area businesses are actively seeking skilled laborers to work through the summer. CRF Frozen Foods plans to assist employees with referrals and placements at other businesses within the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas.

CRF Frozen Foods is working to implement improvements to ensure that when the plant reopens it will produce the highest quality and safest products that technology allows. The company was forced to lay off 245 employees on May 10 after CRF voluntarily shut down plant operations for several weeks. This additional layoff was intentionally escalated so that team members are able to find interim employment until the plant reopens.

CRF Frozen Foods plans to rehire as many of these employees as soon as possible once the plant is back in operation, Grabowski said. At this time, it is uncertain whether additional workforce reductions will be necessary. The timing for the plant start-up is still to be determined.