Furloughs Extended For Meatpacking Workers

Premium Protein Products has again extended its furloughs at plants in Hastings and Lincoln, this time through Sept. 8.

About 400 employees have been off since the second week of June. Managers originally told them they'd be back on June 25.

Premium Protein specializes in providing beef, pork and chicken with a verified source. The company headquarters and a processing plant are in Lincoln; its slaughterhouse is in Hastings.

A phone message left Tuesday for company chairman Steve Sands was not immediately returned. Majority owner and private equity partner Matlin Patterson in New York didn't immediately respond to an e-mail message seeking comment.

At least two companies and one individual have sued the company over the furloughs.