General Mills Closing Plants, Cutting Jobs

Two sites slated for closure were taken over in the food manufacturer's 2001 acquisition of Pillsbury.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — General Mills Inc. said Tuesday it is cutting 581 jobs as it closes two plants the company had taken over in its 2001 acquisition of Pillsbury.
The food manufacturer said 111 employees will be affected by the closing of its frozen waffle plant in Allentown, Pa., and 470 jobs will be cut as it closes its frozen dough facility in Trenton, Ontario.
The company said it will provide severance benefits and transition services to laid-off workers at both plants, who were notified Tuesday.
General Mills said it's getting out of the frozen waffle business altogether and consolidating parts of its bakery and food service business.
The Allentown plant produced Pillsbury brand frozen waffles for the retail market, spokesman Tom Forsythe said.
Production of the frozen dough products that were made at the Ontario plant and sold to commercial customers will be shifted to other General Mills plants, spokeswoman Heidi Geller said.
The Allentown plant was scheduled for closure by Oct. 27, while the Ontario plant is due to close by Nov. 30.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Golden Valley-based General Mills said it recorded a $10 million charge in its first quarter of fiscal 2008 related to the waffle plant closure and cuts, including $4 million for severance payments.

General Mills also said it's taking $24 million in first- and second-quarter charges related to the Ontario plant, including $7 million for severance payments and pension plan charges in its first quarter.
The company also said Tuesday that it took a $3 million charge for severance expenses from stopping production of nonbranded cake products at its plant in Chanhassen, Minn. Forsythe said that move, which was announced Aug. 3, eliminated 96 hourly jobs in Chanhassen and 29 positions elsewhere.
More in Operations