FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2006
Schumer Urges Kraft To Keep New York Plants Open
Schumer Lobbies KRAFT CEO To Keep Facilities in Lowville, Avon, Walton Up and Running
Senator: Upstate New York’s Workforce Is Second-To-None; These Communities Depend on Kraft Jobs
In light of the recent announcement by Kraft Foods of imminent layoffs and plant closings, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the company to keep its facilities in Lowville, Avon, and Walton open. With an impending 8,000 personnel layoffs and 20 plant closings, Schumer cited the strength of New York’s workforce and upstate communities in a personal letter to Kraft Food President and CEO Roger Deromedi.
“New York’s workforce is second to none, and so is the work performed at each of the Kraft facilities across the State,” Schumer said. “These communities depend on the jobs at places like Kraft and it’s important we do everything we can to keep them there. Our workers take pride in making quality products and I hope that Kraft takes pride in our workers.”
On February 1st, Kraft announced a three-year plan to cut 8,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workers, and close 20 production plants worldwide. Currently there are three Kraft facilities, for a total 1150 jobs in upstate New York. The Lowville plant, in Central New York is home to 450 New Yorkers that make the Philadelphia Cream Cheese; in Avon 500 Kraft employees make Kraft’s signature Cool Whip; and in Walton, 200 dedicated Kraft employees make sour cream, cottage cheese and snack dip.
In his letter Schumer said, “These communities have come to rely upon the jobs Kraft provides at these plants and they take pride in making the quality food products that have made Kraft a household name. I know that your company faces many difficult decisions over the next few years, and I hope that you will carefully consider the strength of New York's communities and workforce as you proceed.”
Schumer also offered to assist in any way that he can in preserving and growing Kraft's relationship with New York. On August 26, 2004, Schumer toured the Kraft facility in Avon with Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark Firestone.