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Unilever in Brampton closing, 280 people losing their jobs

Soup and gravy mixes produced at the facility will be shifted to the US...

A Unilever plant in Bramalea, Ont., that manufactures dry mixes for soups, sauces and other foods will close and its production capability shipped to the United States, the company announced Thursday.
    Most production is expected to finish by the end of next year with the final plant closure expected in March 2016.
    John Le Boutillier, president and CEO of Unilever Canada, said the majority of the plant's production will end up in the U.S.
    ``The decision to close the Bramalea plant came after a strategic review of the dry mix category in North America,'' Le Boutillier said in a statement.
    ``As more than 80% of the volume produced at Bramalea is shipped to the United States, Unilever made the strategic decision to make its investment closer to where the bulk of the product is consumed.''
    Le Boutillier said part of the decision was based on the large infusion of money into the dry-mix supply chain that would be required for the company to meet quality standards, customer service levels and future packaging innovations.
    Production of the dry mixes from the Bramalea plant under the Knorr and Lipton brand names will move to Unilever's plant in Independence, Mo.
    The decision to close the plant will affect about 280 salaried and hourly employees.
    Le Boutillier acknowledged the closure will hurt both employees and the community but said Unilever Canada is making significant investments in Canadian facilities which manufacture ice cream, margarine and mayonnaise products.
    Those investments include upgrades and enhancements at other Ontario sites.
    Amsterdam-based Unilever is one of the world's major suppliers of food, home and personal care products, such as Dove soaps, with sales in more than 190 countries.
    The company reported lower revenues for its first quarter due to the effects of the euro and a decline in North America.
    It also said its foods arm, with Knorr soups and sauces and Hellmann's mayonnaise, lagged.

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  1. Dean posted on 05/08/2014 02:09 PM
    Gee, what a surprise: Another job provider leaving Ontario. This is what 11 years of Liberal waste, mismanagement, and corruption have gotten us.

    The choice is clear: Hudak for Premier!
    1. HP posted on 05/08/2014 04:22 PM
      @Dean A comment based on ignorance. Unilever is the victim of NAFTA as negotiated by the Conservative federal government. The first thing that happens under free trade is that the foreign branch plants close and production is moved to the company's home country. This was proven countless times in Europe and Canada...all the car companies would have gone years ago if it wasn't for government subsides, however, they're ready to go now. Chrysler will be he first.

      Mexico got it right when it created a manufacturing zone that is considered a part of U.S. manufacturing territory. Products made there can be legally labelled Made in America, Harper has made that kind of investment in Canada impossible...it's now very difficult for any foreign company to open their business in Canada, especially in the wireless, energy, and high tech sectors.

      Blame the federal Conservative Party for our problems, foreign trade is their responsibility, not any provincial or municipal government.
    2. Alex posted on 05/08/2014 05:52 PM
      @Dean It's called the high dollar and tell us about Tim's plan to bring a million part time, low pay, few benefits mostly part time seasonal jobs to Ontario.

      Better save money and try and live better because you won't have either of them with Walmart.
  2. Angry Bill posted on 05/08/2014 02:09 PM
    Good bye to another business that no longer finds it profitable to operate in Ontario. :(
  3. Dickface posted on 05/08/2014 03:55 PM
    What a surprise. Unilever is forced by the union in simcoe to save their ice cream plant. I guess we now know where the money savings is. Although if I were to choose between ice cream and soup I know what I'd take. I wonder when the union is going to learn that it is their greedy mouths that bit the soup giving hand
    1. Jack posted on 05/08/2014 04:08 PM
      @Dickface It's almost allegorical, really. Unilever says "The people can no longer afford soup!" and the union replies, "Let them eat ice cream."
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