Hormel distributes annual profit sharing

Mathew Neisen, a production supervisor in the dry sausage department at Hormel Foods Corp., hands out profit-sharing checks to plant workers, including Jose Ramirez, Wednesday in Austin.

Cody Klein knows exactly what he's going to do with his profit-sharing check from Hormel Foods Corp.

"This year, I'm going to buy my son a pair of hockey skates," he said. "He's only 2, but he's got to start sometime, right?"

Klein is one of nearly 1,800 employees in the Austin plant to receive the yearly bonus. More than $16.5 million was distributed companywide to eligible hourly and salaried employees during the 73rd annual Thanksgiving Eve Day tradition.

The total each employee receives is typically the equivalent of two-and-a-half paychecks, said Tim Fritz, plant manager. He'll make 14 presentations of checks throughout the day, until 9:30 tonight.

The word of the day seems to be "fun."


"Everybody's just in a good mood," Klein said. "It's a good day to be here and to feel appreciated. If we work hard all year, it's not just better for the company, it's better for us."

Adam Rayman, a maintenance electrician, has worked at the Austin plant for nearly nine years.

"This is perfect," he said of the timing of the checks. His will go toward winter vacations and snowmobiling.

"This is a very stable work environment," Rayman said. "It's good work to do, and today, it's very celebratory."

The profit-sharing checks come on the heels of news of increased company sales and, of course, profits.

Fritz told the employees sales in 2011 had climbed 9 percent, to $7.9 billion. Profits jumped 19 percent.

"We're honored to again recognize our employees for their contributions to a record year in net sales and earnings," said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods.

"It's gratifying to be able to provide this benefit to our hard-working employees, who are committed to delivering great-tasting products to consumers around the world," he said.


Also announced this morning was the plant's United Way campaign results. Employees donated nearly $141,000, surpassing the plant goal by nearly $7,000.

Klein is also a full-time student, majoring in supervisory management.

So, does he want to come back and run the plant himself someday?

"Yes," Klein said. "I'll be back."

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