After weeks of Corporate silence, Thief River Falls Radio has been able to confirm a story we first reported two weeks ago; plans by Dean Foods to close its plant on Main Avenue South in Thief River Falls.
It is called the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, WARN, requiring employers to give 60 days calendar notice when it comes to “plant closings and mass layoffs;” notice that came by certified mail this month to Thief River Falls Mayor, Brian Holmer.
Mayor Holmer released the letter, which we have posted to our website; trfradio.com with a link from our TRF Radio Facebook Page, following last night’s City Council Meeting.
The letter from Dean Foods confirms the closing this fall, saying layoffs that began last week will continue through October 15th, along with a request to help impacted workers and a specific listing of some 50 positions which will be lost when the plant shuts down later this year.
Dean Foods has a long history in Thief River Falls, first established as the Bridgeman Creamery in the 1930’s, bought out by Land O’Lakes in the 1950s; Community Supporter; Bill LaFave served early on as Company Manager. The facility, which initially produced only ice cream, eventually expanded into a full service dairy plant.
Dean Foods Officials described the plant closing as permanent, but there was no word concerning the Distribution Center on Highway #32 South.