The Hershey Company today announced that as part of its strategic supply chain assessment it has reached a tentative labor agreement with the union representing employees at its 19 East Chocolate Avenue and West Hershey facilities located in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
If the agreement is approved by the employees, Hershey's Board of Directors will be asked to review and approve a significant modernization project to expand the Company's West Hershey manufacturing facility into one of the world's largest and most advanced chocolate-making facilities. Current production in the 19 East Chocolate Avenue plant, as well as a portion of the workforce, would be relocated to the West Hershey facility. Additionally, the company would continue to occupy a portion of the older 19 East Chocolate Avenue facility as administrative offices.
As Hershey fans well know, The Hershey Company ceased being a bean-to-bar chocolate company a few years ago: beans are no longer stored in the Hershey cocoa silos, and the scent of chocolate in the air isn't from roasting cocoa beans. Now the company is proposing to shutter the main factory on East Chocolate Avenue, Mr. Hershey's original factory.
UPDATE: This from the Associated Press story on the Hershey news:
Company spokesman Kirk Saville says the changes would mean the loss of 500 to 660 jobs. He says union rejection of the proposal will force Hershey to consider shifting work to other locations in the United States.
What are your thoughts on this?