PROSSER — One of Prosser’s oldest apple packing houses, Zirkle Fruit Company, is closing its’ year-round apple packing operation beginning in mid-October this year.
In public statements over the last week, including a WARN or Worker Adjustment and Reemployment Notification notice to Washington State Employment Department, the company has announced the change in operations which will lay off 300 Prosser year-round apple line packing employees.
The company, which in the recent years has adjusted its’ business plan to include an increase of grape to wine production in its six family-owned wineries, will dislocate just under 100 workers, beginning the middle of October, with the balance of the layoffs happening in increments, at an unannounced dates.
Employers in every state, including Washington, with more than 100 employees, are required by law to provide the WARN notice to both employees and the Employment Department.
The Department houses specially trained staff to help affected workers make new employment or retraining plans following a large layoff.