HyLife plant closes in Windom; company says new buyer doesn't intend to retain workers

HyLife sign in front of plant
The HyLife plant in Windom, Minn. is closing Friday. As a result, more than 1,000 workers will lose their jobs — about half of those workers are in the U.S. on visas tied directly to employment at HyLife.
Jackson Forderer for MPR News

As the HyLife pork processing facility in Windom, Minn. closes Friday, lawyers involved in the sale of the facility announced there is a buyer for the plant.

During a hearing in Delaware bankruptcy court Friday morning, attorney Michael Commerford told the court Premium Iowa Pork placed a winning bid of $14 million for the Windom plant in an auction, which ended Wednesday.

HyLife also confirmed the purchase deal is set to be finalized next week. But the company said in a statement “the buyer does not intend to retain employees at the Windom plant.”

As a result, more than 1,000 workers will lose their jobs. About half of those workers are in the U.S. on visas tied directly to employment at HyLife. Under the terms of the visas, they must leave the country within 10 days of their employment ending.

The loss of so many jobs in a city of just 5,000 is a significant blow. Windom officials have been working with recruiters to help laid off employees find new positions.

Local attorneys have been assisting visa workers find new jobs under a similar visa, return to home or apply for asylum due to safety concerns in their home country.

“This has been a trying journey for all involved,” read the statement from HyLife. “We would like to close by sincerely thanking our employees. Your dedication right up to the final day is admirable. We wish both our employees and the City of Windom all the best.”

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