A Michigan dairy producer is planning to lay off 103 workers in Livonia.

Grand Rapids-based Country Fresh sent a letter to the Michigan Workforce Development Agency last week informing it of the layoffs affecting managers, supervisors, forklift operators and others. The company said it expects the layoffs to begin on Aug. 20 and end around Sept. 7.

"We expect the separations to be permanent," Human Resources Manager Deborah Lee wrote in the June 20 letter.

The filing came one week after Walmart opened its first milk processing plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The plant started operations at a time when dairy prices are low, squeezing producers' revenue. Walmart's facility is supplying white and chocolate milk for about 500 Walmart stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

Local 174 of the United Automotive Workers represents some of the company's employees. Those workers would have bumping rights, Lee noted.

Country Fresh, a subsidiary of Texas-based Dean Foods, sent the letter to comply with the federal WARN Act. The Worker Adjustment and Retrain Notification Act requires companies to notify employees at least 60 calendar days before plant closings and mass layoffs.

Dean Foods and Country Foods were not immediately available for comment.

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