Hundreds to lose jobs as Montreal snack bakery announces closure
One of the largest cookie and snack manufacturers in the world is shutting down its Montreal operations.
Mondelez International was known as Kraft Foods until 2012, when it adopted the new name as the result of a spinoff. The factory has been in Montreal for some 60 years.
It is the company behind Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, Triscuit, Toblerone, Cadbury, Trident, Dentyne, and in Canada, Mr. Christie and Dad's Cookies.
The factory's 454 employees were informed Wednesday afternoon that the plant would be closing in one year.
“We were just warned at the last minute, right before Christmas like this,” said International Machinists’ Union spokesperson Dave Chartrand.
Mondelez operates five other factories in Ontario, but the Montreal plant had the most expensive operating costs in North America. The other facilities will remain open and 95 per cent of production from the Montreal plant will be transferred to them.
Company spokesperson Stephanie Cass said Mondelez would do everything possible for its employees, who each make between $20 and $30 per hour.
Chartrand said he thinks the government should try to help.
“I'm asking the employer to sit down with us and the first thing we want to find out is, is there any possibility of keeping that plant open? Is there any type of intervention that we can do? Is there any type of investment they would need for this planned to be more operational if they deemed that it isn't? We haven't had a kick at the bucket,” he said.
Mondelez International makes annual revenues in excess of $30 billion and employs some 107,000 employees in 165 countries.
“We're talking about a company that's very well off and once again I believe it's how much more we can give the shareholder instead of thinking socially about the job losses,” said Chartrand.