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By Kurtis Lee
Source: The New York Times

Teresa Robles begins her shift around dawn most days at a pork processing plant in an industrial corridor four miles south of downtown Los Angeles. She spends eight hours on her feet cutting tripe, a repetitive motion that has given her constant joint pain, but also a $17.85-an-hour income that supports her family.

So in early June, when whispers began among the 1,800 workers that the facility would soon shut down, Ms. Robles, 57, hoped they were only rumors.

“But it was true,” she said somberly at the end of a recent shift, “and now each day inches a little closer to my last day.”  

The 436,000-square-foot factory, with roots dating back nearly a century, is scheduled to close early next year. Its Virginia-based owner, Smithfield Foods, says it will be cheaper to supply the region from factories in the Midwest than to continue operations here.

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