600 Layoff Notices Handed Out At Patterson Plant

PATTERSON (CBS13) – The city of Patterson was dealt a big blow as pink slips handed out to nearly 600 workers at a Patterson vegetable plant.

But there is hope that those jobs might be able to be saved.

The Patterson Vegetable Company has been around 70 years and is a landmark in this city. They gave out layoff notices, and now hundreds of employees are wondering what they’re going to do next.

This is one of Patterson’s very first large businesses. The vegetable processing and freezing plant has been around since the 1940’s.

New owners bought the place four years ago and it may already be on the verge of shutting down.

“Everybody’s got houses and house payments. What happens when this shuts down? It’s gonna hurt them. It’s gonna hurt a lot of people,” said Ramiro Garcia, a former employee.

About 300 full-time and another 300 seasonal workers got layoff notices late last year.

The company’s management tells CBS13 they asked all employees to take pay cuts, but the union denied it. The company now says it’s waiting for the bank to decide its next move.

“Any time there are potential imminent layoffs, they have to issue those letters,” said Patterson City Manager Rod Butler.

The loss of Patterson’s largest private employer would be a huge blow to a city that already has high unemployment and high home foreclosures.

“The blow of losing those jobs is gonna be significantly felt not just by the company or by those employees, but entire local economy will be affected,” said Jeannette who works at the Canchola Taqueria El Mexicano. “It obviously affects sales. It’s been slowing down a lot over past year.”

If another 600 people are let go, their prospects remain bleak.

“Where would they look for a job?” said Ramiro

The only hope in sight, the city says, is a new Super Wal-Mart that promises to add 300 jobs.

The farmers will also have to figure out what to do with her vegetables. There’s only one other processing plant like this in the nearby city of Newman, and the county says it’s a lot smaller.

The company and union leaders will meet again, but if no agreement is made, its doors might be closed by February 20th.

  • Smash Crasher

    Good. Let the UNION PIGS eat their contracts when they have no money for food. Stupid people. Taking a pay cut is better than taking a job cut. GREEDY UNION HOGS deserve to be penniless. LMAO.

    • John

      Agreed, taking a pay cut is better then no job. Like to see what their next job pays. Stupid Unions are missing to real problem. Them.

    • TWANG

      You must be salary. Dont you know that salary pay is based on the union workers pay. Its usually one and a half times what the union workers get, If you get the union workers to work for $ 1 AN HOUR ,YOU’LL ONLY MAKE $ 1.50 AN HOUR

  • Kimberly

    Funny how the plant ran just fine for 66 years until new ownership came in and exxtracted all the wealth from the company. The union was there when it was bought by the new owners. wonder who the new owners are? Article doesn’t say. Funny that.

    • JOSE0311USMC


    • JOSE0311USMC


  • Tom

    There all illegals anyways who cares .And smash Crasher you wish you had trhe brains to be hired by a union .

    • JOSE0311USMC


    • new-born

      You have to have brains to be hired by a union?Since when?

  • Jonus

    Seems to me that a contract should have been affirmed with the Union. How about a paycut for 1 year and of say $.25 per hour. Then each year after a rise of $.25 per year for two years. Also obviously the new owners should be investigated because this plant has been in existance for 70 years and has upgraded numerous times over the years with no recessations from the Union. The new owners have evidently been living a good lifestyle. Maybe they should have been investing in there own livlyhood. The farmers need the Plant. There should be an investigation into the specifics of this plant closing. This article does no justice for anyone!!!

  • BIG AL


  • mike a

    The new owners paid a fortune for that plant, get real. if the new owners can not make a profit because of the union demands then of course they will have to cut way back or go out of business, simple as that. This has been happening all over america, plants and companies have closed and are closing here in america and moving where they do not have to deal with unions and thousands have lost their only sourse of income. When a business is bought the owners can go out of business if they want to no investigation for petes sake whats the matter with ya, this america no one can force them to stay or go geez.
    Not to mention that the price of food at the grocery store triples because of union demands.

    • luanne

      You think the price of food at the grocery store triples because of Union demands? Well, just think how much it will cost you to buy a can of green beans now since the farmers will have no place to take their produce to be canned. There won’t be any canned vegetables. So you better learn how to do your own home canning this year or you will be starving next winter.

      I agree with Jonus, the plant seemed to run just fine for over 70-years and then within four-years the new owners have managed to bury the plant. It’s possible they lived well over what they should have, but its also possible that they just weren’t good business people, or maybe they really had no idea of how to run a plant. Either way, there are more questions than answers right now, and I think those 600 employees deserve to hear the truth.

      • Fred

        Hey Luanne – are you as uninformed as your comments make you appear? This isn’rt a cannery, it is a frozen food processing plant. Ypu’ll still get your canned beans.

      • Becky

        Well lets see those 66 years. I believe that is after the great depression and now the current no name, no admitting its a depressons-depression. Its no one persons fault. It was years in the making. Everyone, no matter your politics can stop pointing fingers. The greedy got too greedy and everthing is or has collapsed. There is no quick fix. Its going to get worse before it gets better.

  • nothingchanges

    Another business bailing out of California….Right on Jerry !!!!! Keep up the great work !!!!

  • nothingchanges

    I wonder which business friendly southern state they are moving too ? Hmmmm.

  • Two Tacos

    Poor illegals.

    • nothingchanges

      California is going to be the leftovers from the people who have made their $$$$ and bailed out of state, Again have fun pushing your ice cream carts, Working taco wagons and selling cheap stuffed animals ;)

      • Marty

        You want America to be like it was in 1955? Before Medicare and Civil Rights?

  • jackie

    The plant did not begin to cost as much to operate 70 years ago nothing was so dern expensive in them good old days, back to the present. When the Hunts plant in Davis which had been in business that long closed its doors the fence gates locked so the employees could not even get in to get their final checks then the plant went to Mexico every one was shocked, but it happened. If I remember correctly we had news helicopters overhead filming the employees lined up for blocks on Covel hopeing to be told something by the owners to no avail I hope that does not happen to the patterson folks.

  • sassafras

    You are probably right luanne, gads I would hate to have to start canning my own fruit again and freezing asparagus and other veggies but I don’t have to fret I won’t be able to afford to buy any fruit or veggies any way and it costs to much in gas or electricity to steam the jars etc. and I no longer have a large upright freezer or storage space for the jars, oh woa is me, geez I am off to walk my sweetie so I don’t think about this.

    • derF

      If it is that bad you may want to think about a dirt nap.

  • Phil

    Another company destroyed by unions.

  • dan domecity

    you people are idiots…maybe id californians weren’t such whinners. Got educations and stoped droping out of school to go work in factorys. the people of cali are destorying companys that why i moved mine to oregon. yes i have union employee’s and my company makes money. stop blaming unions , the prez, congress, senate, mexican, asiaians, whites ,blacks. blame yourself, company greed…..Sorry but pull your heads out. sit down and save your jobs and your town. Think use your minds oops cali has no education system and wastes all its money locking up pot smokers and drug users. sinking inton the ocean….

    • Nicole

      Clearly spelling was not a part of your education?

      • Roger Ewing

        Gimme 5 Nicole….lol lol

  • PK

    To all of you union hatters out there, lets remove the child labor laws, lets remove all safety devices on mechanical, electronic and electrical equipment. Let’s put your children back into sweat shops, back into the mines. Let’s make sure they’re using saws and other dangerous implements. Take away your safety harnesses and hard hats. Let’s make sure everyone works the minimum wage from the forty’s and fifty’s and make sixteen hour shifts mandatory with five hours off. All safety standards for pilots and truckers gone. You won’t need union teachers, after all, your children will receive their education in the sweat shops and mines at age five at 75 cents an hour. All retirement packages and health insurance history. Think about it, and that’s just the start of what corporate America wants. Too much of the who, what, where, why and how were left out of this story.

    • new-born

      I can not afford a new car…..being the cheapest one starts at $14,000 dollars.Due to union workers earning $25.00 a hour for turning one bolt all day long.

      • CrackedNutz

        Yeah new-born. I heard on Fox News that the ones turning 2 bolts are getting $52 an hour. Imagine that.

    • Ronster

      What’s a “union hatter”? BTW, your argument is baseless. Most things you mentioned are federal law, so they can’t just be “removed”. Regardless of whether or not the unions helped with their implementation, that was MANY years ago. Unions have worn out their welcome with actions such as those mentioned in this article. You’re just trying to make a dumb point. It didn’t work.

    • gary

      PK you are right on.The unions are the only reason we have a middle class in this country.I work in the utility industry and deal with both union and non union contractors.By far the union contractors build faster and cheaper in the long run as we do not have to go back and redo their construction.They do it right the first time unlike the scab companies that win the bid,rush thru the job and leave the mess for us to clean up.

    • AOB61

      PK, You should go take a look at Asia, they have none of the protections that you speak of and yet S.E. Asia and Asia as a whole, is becoming the economic growth powerhouse of the world.

  • Ronster

    Typical unions.

  • unionitissucks

    PK you must be one of the english and spelling teachers the union protects, I hate to tell you this but your post does not make a lick of sence, the unions have been responsible for more unemployeement than anything else in this country and they have not stopped yet. The union workers can sit on their butts while on a construction job while the rest of the non-union crew have double work to do and do not make as much an hour as the lazy do nothing for pay union workers sitting on their butts.

  • Greg

    Maybe you all should do some research and see how much the company CEO’s were being paid. The union workers were being paid $11 and $17 per hour – the company was looking for cuts of $2 an hour, to save $3 million for company upgrades. Cut the top 3 exec salaries, and you’d probably have your $3 mil – instead, they plan to lay off 300 people!

  • californianitemare

    Thats it the CEO’s who have been robbing the unions have ruined the unions for union workers and everyone else. They should all be deported to Mexico or China or where ever.

  • JOSE0311USMC


    • vicky buzzherd

      just you frijole

  • JOSE0311USMC


    • MAC49

      CEO’S Taking a pay cut? Are you serious? Not on your life! With all the jobs going to Mexico why are they still coming here? OOPS sorry no freebies there and they are called sweat shops, But none the less those so called, great companies are making huge profits. Nike, Levis, and many more large companies. Being made in mexico at huge profits, the price of their product has done nothing up go up. So bottom line GREED. Money is the bottom line. So keep buying those things and make the rich richer, None of those employees will be spending their money in the U.S.

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