AUSTIN, Minn., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Minnesota's Hormel Foods Corp. says it has handed out more than $16.5 million in profit-sharing checks to its eligible hourly and salaried employees.
The Thanksgiving holiday checks are a 73-year tradition for the meat-processing firm started by Jay C. Hormel in 1938.
"We are honored to again recognize our employees for their contributions to a record year in net sales and earnings," Jeffrey M. Ettinger, the company's board chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement posted on Hormel's Web site. "It is 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."
Austin plant manager Tim Fritz said the checks doled out Wednesday to Hormel workers who have been with the company the entire fiscal year amounted to about 2 1/2 weeks' pay, the Austin Daily Herald reported.
"It's a fun day at the Austin plant," Fritz told the newspaper. "It's a culmination of a hard year's work and it shows hard work pays off. It couldn't come at a better time of year."
Hormel's earnings reported this past week were down for the fourth quarter but annual net earnings reached a record $474.2 million, a 20 percent spike from last year.