Skip to comments.Hershey to Close Reading, Pa., Plant
Posted on 04/24/2007 8:21:11 AM PDT by Wolfie
Hershey to Close Reading, Pa., Plant
The Hershey Co., the nation's leading candy maker, said Monday that it will shut down a plant in Reading as part of a wider move to cut labor and materials costs.
The closing, which will affect about 260 unionized employees, is the company's second plant-closing announcement in a little over two months.
"Our network operates at less than half of capacity (over seven days) and we must make significant changes to remain competitive," Hershey (nyse: HSY - news - people ) spokesman Kirk Saville said.
Saville said the company would work out severance agreements with the workers and close the plant in 2008. Hershey is looking to shift more manufacturing to India, China, Mexico and contractors in the United States, and has already announced it will cut up to 900 of the 3,000 workers from three plants in its hometown.
Hershey originally purchased the Reading plant from the Dietrich Corp. in 1987 and brought aboard the Luden's cough drop brand and the Fifth Avenue chocolate bar.
The plant also makes York Peppermint Patties, Reese's crispy crunch bars and Jolly Ranchers. The plant is about 40 miles east of the company headquarters in the town named for the chocolate magnate, Milton S. Hershey.
Wished I liked Hershey’s chocolate so I could boycott it. I’m sick of all these jobs moving out of the country.
Ie. the Japanese.
Considering all the good (food ingredient) news coming out of China this perfect timing. Is there anything in this country not for sale?
Gee, I wonder why they had to shut down the plant...
Hershey doesn’t need the capacity since it is eternally reducing the size of the bars. Less stuff to deal with.
After the pet food poisoning, I would hope that many people will be reading the country of origin on product labels. We hear that the FDA is overworked - hey, at least we HAVE an FDA. A simple boycott of imported foodstuffs may send a loud message.
Well the Chinese chocolate does have that little “something extra”.
Are they relocating production to New Orleans?
Did that pass, are all products covered by that? Does meat and other products have to say where they came from?
It would be interesting to hear what Ross’ position on our sugar subsidies was, or is. I suspect that he wouldn’t mind making the rest of us pay two to three times the world price for sugar, as long as he’s getting a piece of the action.
Most other candy manufacturers have already moved these kinds of jobs out of this country. Why?
Common labor in these other countries can range from $2.50 PER WEEK to upwards of $12 PER WEEK.
We in the US simply cannot compete with this kind of cost structure.
And if the foreign country grows it's labor costs too much, we simply move to another "less advantaged" country.
Simple? Yes. Economically sound? Yes. Motivated by profit? Not entirely, but for the sake of arguement, yes. Did the costs on union jobs cause this shift? Not entirely, but I'll bet there are those on this site that would argue the point.
Looks like I will finally lose some weight.
I won’t eat a candy bar made in China, Indonesia, etc.
“...Hershey is looking to shift more manufacturing to India, China, Mexico...”
So now there is no reason to buy Hershey bars because Swiss Chocolate is just as American.
And why have Zagnut bars become so hard to find?
They're effectively short-circuiting the unions. Hershey must have found some folks that'll watch chocolate being made for less than $35/hour+bennies.
Go to the Dollar Store or a Cracker Barrel and get some good Goo Goos made in Nashville, Tennessee.
More ‘conscience free trade’. Fine, Hershey can live without the USA (except for customers!! We make good customers, but not good enough for their labor). I can certainly live without Hershey choclate.
Candy stores rarely stock Zagnut, since it has only a niche market. Most Zagnuts are sold online.
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