Regional Grocery Distributor Lays off 200

TULSA, Okla. - About 200 workers at Hale-Halsell Co. will lose their jobs today after the grocery distributor announced layoffs in a series of meetings yesterday at its headquarters here, according to the Tulsa World. Employees said that 300 to 400 people work at the warehouse operations. Hale-Halsell is the parent company of the Git 'N' Go convenience store chain and 10 Super H grocery stores.

In a statement the company released yesterday, it said the layoffs were caused by the "loss of its principal grocery customer, which gave an unexpected notice late last Friday that it was discontinuing using the company as its grocery supplier." The principal customer reportedly is United Supermarkets, which has stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

The statement additionally said that the company "is working hard to reduce costs, closing nonprofitable business units, consolidating its operations, and selling noncore assets to reduce its debt load and raise capital during these challenging times."

According to Scott Christie, an assistant comptroller at Hale-Halsell, meetings were held early yesterday to discuss the situation with workers at the main office, then later with truck drivers and those who work in the warehouse. "We were told basically that they were taking it down to only a skeleton crew that was needed for reorganization," he said.

No word has been received regarding severance packages for laid-off workers.
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