Kane Beef is asking all employees to attend what’s described as an important meeting next week. For some 750 furloughed employees, they hope the meetings will answer an important question that’s been on their minds for weeks — are we getting our jobs back?
Judge Richard Schmidt, the man who had been overseeing operations at Kane Beef through the bankruptcy and sale processes, says now that the auction and sale is done, STX Beef is ready to start a new chapter.
“They have no reservations. They purchased it as it is, and are in the process of reopening the plant,” Schmidt told KRIS 6 News.
STX Beef is an affiliate of JDH Capital, the Houston-based company that placed a winning $28 million bid for Kane Beef during an auction last month.
Schmidt says the plan was always to retain as many jobs as possible. He believes most workers will be safe but some positions are likely more secure than others.
“There might be some senior people who the company might want to replace. I don’t know. That’s their prerogative to do that,” Schmidt explained. “But certainly those people who work in the plant will get their jobs back.”
He also understands that it’s been difficult for those hundreds of employees furloughed since late January. However, with so many regulatory steps necessary to complete the sale, Schmidt says it’s amazing that Kane Beef has gone from bankruptcy to new ownership in just over a month.
“It would’ve been extraordinary if they could’ve closed it any quicker than they actually did.”
Schmidt says the owner of JDH Capital was personally involved with the sale and has even visited the plant several times. He believes the new ownership will honor the words issued in a statement, which reads in part, “Our investment underscores our view that this is a tremendous opportunity — for the employees and their families, the community at large and for the many Texas ranchers that have relied upon this facility for generations.”
“This is an outstanding company from Houston that’s well capitalized. An outstanding corporate citizen, not only of Houston but of the state. They have connections already to Corpus Christi. They’re going to be an outstanding corporate citizen here in Corpus Christi,” Schmidt said.
The employee meetings will be on Tuesday, March 5 at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Kane Beef cafeteria. Workers only need to attend one of those sessions.