Food distributor to cut 91 jobs at Johnson City facility

From Staff Reports

   JOHNSON CITY -- A food service distribution company has announced that over the next four months it plans to reduce its work force by 31 percent.
   That means that approximately 90 jobs will be eliminated from the Johnson City facility of the Knoxville-based I.J. Company by Feb. 16 of 2004, according to I.J. President and Chief Operating Officer Tommy Dial.
   "The company is aggressively looking for new opportunities to bring more business to the Johnson City operation," Dial said. "However, it is unlikely that we will replace the loss of business in time to prevent a major reduction in force."
   Recently, I.J. had been negotiating for a contract renewal with its largest customer, which remained unidentified by the company. But the unnamed company, which had used the services of the Johnson City I.J. facility for 12 years, decided instead to contract with other companies out of Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, according to Dial.
   Employees who will be laid off will receive severance benefits including transitional and retention pay, vacation buyouts and access to an on-site career center to aid them in finding a new job.