Blue Bell is having a bad year, so are its employees.
Calling it an agonizing decision, Blue Bell Creameries CEO and President Paul Kruse fired more than 1,000 employees and furloughed another 1,400 workers.
The terminations are because the company won't be producing any time soon and supply and distribution will be limited "for some time to come."
Of those who were fired, 750 were full-time and another 700 were part-time, which is 37 percent of Blue Bell's workforce. As for the furloughed employees, Blue Bell said they will be partially paid and expected to return to work once production resumes.
However, there is no firm timeline for when the company will produce ice cream. But when it does, that production will be limited and phased into the market, according to Blue Bell.
And cleaning up at Blue Bell's four production plants will take a time, especially at the Brenham facility, which needs major repairs and equipment plants.
Blue bell also laid off an unknown number of employees at distribution centers at two branches in Phoenix; at Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Kansas City; Wichita, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Las Vegas, Nevada; Raleigh, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia.
Those closings and terminations are also a result of limited production capacity, which Blue Bell anticipates upon returning to production.
“The agonizing decision to lay off hundreds of our great workers and reduce hours and pay for others was the most difficult one I have had to make in my time as Blue Bell’s CEO and President,” Kruse said in a press release. “At Blue Bell, our employees are part of our family, and we did everything we could to keep people on our payroll for as long as possible. At the same time, we have an obligation to do what is necessary to bring Blue Bell back and ensure its viability in the future. This is a sad day for all of us at Blue Bell, and for me personally."