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Published: Friday, 3/9/2007

Archbold plant closing delayed

ARCHBOLD, Ohio - ConAgra Foods Inc. is again delaying the closure of its Archbold factory, which now has 350 employees, but has not determined when the final date is, a spokesman said yesterday.

Originally, the factory that last September had 400 employees making Healthy Choice soup and La Choy products was to be closed in January.

Now, the closure is delayed past May as ConAgra prepares other facilities to undertake production now done in northwest Ohio, spokesman Melissa Baron said.

"The timeline has shifted," she said. "This is a very, very complex plan that involves not only Archbold, Ohio, but five other ConAgra canning facilities."

Dennis Howell, Archbold's administrator, said he had been told by a ConAgra official that the Archbold factory may continue producing through November.

Two of four production lines at the factory have been idled. Veteran workers at the plant are paid $15 to $23 an hour, union leaders have said.

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