In a world where we all scream for ice cream, 80 people will all scream for jobs come this October. Baskin-Robbins confirmed in a press release
Wednesday that it will be closing down its ice cream production plant in Peterborough, a town northeast of Toronto.
“We deeply regret the need to close the Peterborough plant, but the facility, which is already operating around the clock, is unable to keep up with the demands of our rapidly growing international business,” stated Pete Laport, Baskin-Robbins’ vice president of global supply chain, in the news release. “We have explored other options, but modernizing the facility and adding capacity are unfortunately not viable. We appreciate the dedication of our Peterborough employees and are committed to help them through this transition.”
Of the 80 employees, 15 jobs will be gone by the end of July, while the remaining individuals will be let go when the facility shuts down in three months. Nearly four dozen workers are represented by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union. The company will work closely with the union during the closure process.
The facility was the company’s last manufacturing plant in North America, but the decision had to be made, according to Laport, because there has been a lack of demand. “We believe it makes sense to focus on our core skills of franchising, retail and product innovation, rather than ice cream production,” added Laport.
In the meantime, Baskin-Robbins employees will receive severance compensation and benefits, including resume support and career planning assistance.
“People were just totally shocked. They had no idea this was going to happen, especially because the place was going gangbusters,” said Charles Redden, president of CAW local 462, in an interview with The Record
. “You just hate to see people lose their jobs in a situation like this.”
The ice cream making company was founded in 1953 by Burt Baskin and Irvine Robbins. It grew to be one of the world’s largest ice cream franchises. It has nearly 6,000 locations in more than 30 countries, including Zimbabwe, Belarus, Venezuela, Luxembourg and Palestine. The multi-national corporation is known all around the world for its 31 flavours.