Around 740 Canadians will lose their jobs when Heinz closes its plant June 2014 in Leamington, Ontario. On Thursday, the company announced the future closing next June. The company made the announcement to its employees in the company cafeteria.
The company is the largest employer in the city in Canada, according to the website, cbc.ca.
To Leamington Mayor John Patterson the news about the plant was a "a great disappointment." The plant is more than 100 years old, and Paterson said "this is a day we hoped would never come."
Long-time employee John Skocza, a 35-year veteran of the plant, blamed the plant closing on American billionaire Warren Buffet.
"He just crushed us," Skocza commented.
Berkshire Hathaway, which is owned by Buffet, and a partner on the deal, 3G Capital, purchased Heinz in the United States for $28 billion in February. Since then, Heinz has closed two other North American plants, both in the United States: Florence, South Carolina, with 200 employees and Pocatello, Idaho, with 410 employees.
The company said in a press release the decision was made "after an extensive review of our company’s North American supply chain footprint, capabilities, and capacity utilization.
"We reached this decision after thoroughly exploring extensive alternatives and options. Heinz fully appreciates and regrets the impact our decision will have on employees and the communities in which these factories are located."
The star.com reported the Canadian factory is the second largest Heinz plant in the world. It makes ketchup, baby food and other items.
Michael Mullen, a spokesman for the company, said production from the three factories will move during the next six to eight months to five plants in St. Marys, Ontario, Iowa, Ohio and California.
Those factories will add 470 jobs at those locations.
“They have been the biggest employer since forever," Patterson commented. "This is really hard news."
According to the business.financialpost.com, the city of Leamington would probably not even exist if not for the factory which is closing. That is because the town was built around the plant 104 years ago. Leamington has 29,000 people.