Processing Magazine

Hershey''s Proposed Labor Deal Would Cut 600 Jobs

June 3, 2010
The Hershey Co. is proposing to slash up to 600 jobs in a move to modernize and expand one of its hometown plants and turn the other into an office building, according to the Associated Press. The plan is part of a tentative agreement with union negotiators and must be approved by a majority of the approximately 1,600 members who work at both factories. A vote is set Friday. Locals fear the candy maker is slowly but surely leaving the town built by Mr. Hershey. The 105-year-old plant at 19 E. Chocolate Ave. in Hershey greets passers-by with the smell of chocolate, and giant metal models of Hershey’s chocolate Kisses cap the streetlights in front of it. Corporate offices just won''t give the same feel. Hershey spokesman Kirk Saville said the move is necessary to remain competitive in an ever-changing global marketplace against even bigger rivals. Saville said the newer West Hershey factory would become one of the world''s largest and most advanced chocolate plants, employing 1,100 people, up from about 500. If the union rejects the plan, the company is threatening to move the expansion and jobs elsewhere. Hershey, which did not disclose its budget for the project, had more than 12,000 full-time employees worldwide at the beginning of this year and counted revenue of $5.3 billion in its most recent fiscal year.