Kraft Heinz To Close Seven Plants, Cut 2,600 Jobs

The plant closings announced this week are expected to take effect over the next 12 to 24 months.

Mnet 171742 Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz on Wednesday announced that it will close seven facilities and cut 2,600 jobs as part of its continued efforts to reduce costs.

The plan includes shuttering the nearly century-old Oscar Mayer plant in Madison, Wisconsin, which houses the company's U.S. meats business.

The meats operation will instead move to Chicago along with about 250 of the plant's workforce of more than 1,000.

Kraft Heinz will move its Illinois office from the former Kraft headquarters in suburban Northfield to downtown Chicago early next year; it will also maintain a second headquarters in Heinz's native Pittsburgh.

The other six cities with plants on the chopping block include: Fullerton and San Leandro, California; Federalsburg, Maryland; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; Campbell, New York; and St. Marys, Ontario.

“Our decision to consolidate manufacturing across the Kraft Heinz North American network is a critical step in our plan to eliminate excess capacity and reduce operational redundancies for the new combined company,” said Michael Mullen, the company's senior vice president of corporate and government affairs.

Heinz and Kraft merged this summer and company officials promptly began cost-cutting measures that mirrored Heinz's 2013 acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital.

The company announced 2,500 layoffs in the U.S. and Canada in August, including about 700 at the Northfield headquarters.

The plant closings announced this week are expected to take effect over the next 12 to 24 months.

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