Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Latest round of Maple Leaf job cuts affects 400

December 2, 2015
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Dec. 1, 2015 – Meat processor Maple Leaf Foods is getting even leaner just in time for the holidays.

The Toronto, Ont.-based company announced last week it plans to eliminate more than 400 salaried jobs, mostly before the end of the year, as it “works to reduce costs and cut back areas where it says there are too many managers.”

Maple Leaf’s move will affect about 3 per cent of its employees across the country, including middle management and office jobs. The Canadian Press is reporting that the cuts will be concentrated in Ontario.

This is the latest round of cuts for a company that has spent much of the past seven years slashing its workforce, merging facilities and selling off other divisions in a $1-billion attempt to return to profitability, reports The Canadian Press.

Earlier this year, Maple Leaf Foods closed eight old factories — including ones in Winnipeg, Man., Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto — in a multi-year reorganization of its operations.

“With the challenges of our network transformation largely behind us, now is the right time to look at our organization to streamline so we can reinvest in growth,” said company spokesman David Bauer.

Maple Leaf has been chipping away at its workforce for several years, partly through massive job reductions, which included a net loss of 1,550 positions in 2011, as well as much smaller cuts incorporated into its consolidation moves.

For example, last year the company shuttered an old wiener production facility in Hamilton and merged the operations into the super facility, cutting about 26 jobs in the process.

Overall, the company has shrunk the number of its national meat plants by nearly half to 13 and consolidated into two distribution centres, where previously it had 19.

It also closed two bakeries in the Toronto area and sold its 90 per cent stake in Canada Bread to Mexican company Grupo Bimbo last year.

— With files from David Friend, The Canadian Press

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