Hundreds Skip Work At N.C. Hog Plant

Production stalled at the world's largest hog slaughterhouse Thursday after several hundred employees failed to show up for work.

It happened just a day after immigration officials arrested 21 workers inside the plant.

Officials at Smithfield Foods said news of Wednesday's arrests spread quickly among plant employees, and most members of a cleaning crew did not come to work overnight. That forced workers who arrived in the morning to clean the massive plant, halting the morning's production.

About five-thousand employees process up to 32-thousand hogs daily at the plant in Tar Heel, which is about 85 miles southeast of Raleigh.

The arrests and slowdown again exposed the rift between the company and the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has been trying for more than a decade to organize the plant.