A disaster at a Minnesota packing plant could be bad news for some northern Iowa ag workers. North central Iowans who commuted just across the border are wondering if they’ll still have jobs after a big fire destroyed half a pork plant at Albert Lea, Minnesota. Managers say it’ll be several weeks before Farmland decides whether to rebuild the 89-year-old plant, and it will be closed for up to two years even if it is rebuilt. It’s the town’s second-largest employer and the plant’s 400 production workers earn a 15-million dollar payroll. Its production included a lot of Iowa hogs. It could be hard on minority workers, too: Farmland officials say 70-percent of the workforce is Hispanic.
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