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XL Foods to Temporarily Lay Off 2,000 Workers at Alberta Plant

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- XL Foods Inc. will temporarily lay off 2,000 workers at a beef-slaughtering plant in Brooks, Alberta, the company said today in an e-mailed statement.

XL, whose products are linked to one of the largest recalls in Canadian history, said it’s working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to resume operations. Workers have received full pay the past three weeks working a 32-hour weekly schedule, XL said.

E-mail and phone messages left at the company’s press office outside of regular business hours weren’t immediately returned. The company’s website says more than 2,000 workers are employed at the facility.

The cuts come after the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed on Oct. 8 an 11th case of E. coli linked to meat from XL. XL, a subsidiary of closely held Nilsson Bros. Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta, had its operating license suspended last month.

The company said today that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency hadn’t given a definitive timeline for the relicensing of the plant. Brian Nilsson, a co-chief executive officer of the company, said in the e-mailed statement that the “uncertainty” of when relicensing will happen forced the layoffs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Bain in Mexico City at bbain2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sylvia Wier in New York at swier@bloomberg.net

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