Swift outlines impact from ICE raid

by Keith Nunes
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GREELEY, COLO. — Five months after the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security raided six plants owned and operated by Swift & Co. and detained approximately 1,300 employees, the company announced it had returned to full staffing levels and outlined the financial impact of the raids. No charges were ever filed against the company.

"I’m pleased to report that all four of Swift’s domestic beef plants are now at or above standard staffing levels," said Sam Rovit, Swift & Company’s president and chief executive officer. "We are now working diligently to train our new team members to accelerate the return of our beef facilities to full production capacity."

The company also reported a revised financial impact from the raids of $45 million to $50 million for its fiscal year ending May 27, 2007.

"Our original estimate of the cost of the December 2006 ICE event and its aftermath was $30 million," said Ray Silcock, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Swift & Co. "This comprised approximately $20 million in lost earnings and $10 million in increased recruiting and training costs. Of the $30 million, $5 million was from Swift Pork and $25 million from Swift Beef.

"As we approach the end of our fiscal year, it now appears that while the Swift Pork estimate continues to be reasonably accurate, increased costs and lost slaughter opportunities in Swift Beef will total more than $40 million for fiscal 2007, primarily due to the greater than originally expected time required to bring our four beef plants back to full production."

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