VIDEO : Progresso Soup May Close Its Vineland PlantPosted:
VINELAND – After more than 70 years, Progresso Soup may close its Vineland plant, displacing workers by the hundreds.
Progresso says the closing would be part of a global supply chain restructuring, aborting an approximate 370 jobs.
The company says it would transfer production from the Vineland plant to other U.S. facilities in an effort to eliminate excess soup capacity in the North American supply chain.
General Mills says the decision is subject to negotiations with union officials. The union recently ratified a four-year contract.
Employees were sent home earlier on Thursday but are scheduled to return to work on Monday.
Progresso Quality Foods opened its first Vineland plant in 1942.
General Mills announced additional closures in Ohio, Brazil, and China.
"I think it’s devastating, I really feel betrayed in how this was handled, and I’m very disappointed in how general mills did not see fit to allow the community, and they can’t tell me … “nothing could be done.” something can always be done," said Frank LoBiondo, 2nd District Representative.
The Congressman told us he spoke with Brian String, President of the Food and Commercial Workers Union, who represents those employees. He says they just came through contract negotiations and it was never mentioned that the plant would be in jeopardy.
Lobiondo is planning to meet with other local officials in a collaborative effort to see if those behind the decision are willing to meet and talk.