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Greencore Lays Off Hundreds in RI, Will Abandon 3-Year Old $33M Facility - UPDATED

Thursday, March 15, 2018

 

Raimondo joined Greencore officials unveiling the RI facility

In 2015, Greencore came to Rhode Island, where it realized incentives and promised a $33-million food-production facility at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown. The 100,000 square foot facility was intended to employ 400 or more workers, but GoLocal has learned that the facility will close putting hundreds out of work. The company is one of the largest third-party contractors for preparing foods and making sandwiches for clients like major convenience stores and Amazon,

“Greencore announced today it is closing its Rhode Island production facility as part of a global restructuring. Last fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted an environmental sampling at the facility and found traces of listeria bacteria which led to a voluntary recall of sandwiches and other food products. The Department of Labor and Training will actively help Greencore workers affected by the layoffs. At the company’s invitation, DLT will visit the workplace soon and offer Rapid Response services,” said Matt Sheaff on behalf of the Department of Labor and Training.

Through Rapid Response, DLT can provide information about re-employment services and possible training opportunities, address workers’ individual needs, and offer information about income support programs such as Unemployment Insurance.”

GoLocal has learned that other Rhode Island companies that supply Greencore have been notified that their agreements will end in the next few weeks. The Financial Times of London reports that the RI facility will close by the end of the month.

Many of those that are employed at the facility live in the Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls are and traveled to the plant in North Kingstown by RIPTA buses. 

Company Signed 50 Year Lease at Quonset

The ribbon cutting of the massive facility took place in early 2015 by Governor Gina Raimondo -- with the hope Greencore would grow to upwards of 600 full-time jobs. The negotiation for the company to come to Rhode Island started under then-Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Greencore is an Irish Company and its stock collapsed this week losing as much as 30 percent of its value.

The Irish Times reports, “The warning [about the companies stock performance] came as the company said that it would cease production at its loss-making Rhode Island facility this month and it guided that contract wins elsewhere in the US would take longer than expected to come on board.”

“Greencore’s $747.5 million (€606.8 million) purchase in December 2016 of Illinois-based Peacock Foods, which generates about $1 billion in annual sales, more than quadrupled the group’s total US sales."

However, the profit alert underscored issues in the US operation that Greencore had built up over the past decade in that market,” according to the Irish Times.

More Jobs Lost in RI

The jobs hit is a blow to the Rhode Island. Rhode Island has lost jobs four of the last six months. Last reported month Rhode Island lost 200 jobs.

It was also announced on Wednesday that all Toys ‘R’ Us stores will close across the country. The implication is the loss of jobs in Rhode Island at the retailer and a potential adverse impact at Hasbro. Hasbro stock has lost 8 percent since the news of Toys ‘R’ Us demise leaked out last week.

This story was originally published 3/14/18 8:16 PM and was updated at 3/15/18 4:45 AM

 

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