It’s the news no one wants to hear heading into the Christmas season, but an east London plant is facing significant job cuts.
With the sales of traditional breakfast cereals declining across the country, Kellogg Canada has announced it’s slashing the workforce at its London plant by 20%.
11 managers were walked out of the plant on Tuesday, while many more employees will be given their pink slips in the new year.
110 of the 500 full-time unionized workers currently employed at the London plant will be out of a job by January 2014.
“It’s very sad, and I’m hoping Kellogg will take into consideration the great relationship they’ve had with us over the years, and strongly consider keeping this an anchor in North America,” said Ward 4 Councillor Stephen Orser.
There’s word many of the people being laid off are already in a tough situation.
“They’re on layoff or on-call and they’re not getting many days to begin with, but we’ve talked to them when they’ve come in. They’re not happy with the situation and we’re not happy they’ve been put in that situation, but it is what it is,” said one unionized employee who did not want to provide his name.
In addition to the layoffs, the plant will be shut down for about 10 weeks of the year. During that time, employees will not get paid.
The cuts are part of an overall restructuring the company is undertaking to streamline their operations by 2018.
Almost all traditional cereal makers are facing a declines in sales, with more Canadians are choosing transportable and compact meals like breakfast shakes and cereal bars, rather than pouring a bowl of cereal.
“This plant only makes cereal, not bars or anything else. Until families start acting like they did years ago and can sit down and eat meals at home and our lifestyle slows down a little bit, I don’t see much change in what’s going on,” he added.
The London plant has steadily been making less of their 27 different varieties of cereal every year.
In 2005, the plant made 104 million kg, but this year they’re making 67 million.