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Pa. Legislators Want Gov. Corbett To Try To Keep Kraft Plant in Philadelphia

(Government and union officials outside the Kraft plant in Northeast Philadelphia call for its continued operation.  Credit: Steve Tawa)

(Government and union officials outside the Kraft plant in Northeast Philadelphia call for its continued operation. Credit: Steve Tawa)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The potential closing of the old Kraft Foods plant in Northeast Philadelphia could mean the loss of yet more jobs in the once-thriving snack industry (see related story).

But there may be a glimmer of hope yet.

As the union representing workers at the former Nabisco-Kraft factory, on Roosevelt Boulevard, negotiates shutdown talks, Pennsylvania state representative Brendan Boyle  is among the local officials trying to figure out how to blunt the losses.

“One of the options they’re considering is completely closing this iconic building and shipping the over 300 jobs to Mexico,” he said today.

Boyle  (third from right in photo) has also heard that if Mondelez International stays, it would consider expanding, and adding even more jobs.

“So it’s very important that we sit down at the table,” he says.

State senator Mike Stack (at left in photo) wants Gov. Corbett to get involved, like he has done to get Royal Dutch Shell to build a petrochemical ethane cracking plant in western Pennsylvania, the governor’s home turf.

“We look forward to working with them to figure out some kind of relief package which will help them stay here,” Stack said today.

The plant has changed hands over the years from Nabisco to Kraft, and then to the Chicago-based Mondelez.

Union leader John Lazar of Local 492 has put in 30 years at the plant.

“All it’s about is corporate greed,” he said today.  “All they want to do is take jobs and send them to Mexico.”

(Reporter:)  “You have the capacity here now to do more?”

(Lazar:)  “We have eight ovens.   Right now we’re only running four.”

Lazar (second from right in photo) hopes Mondelez reverses course, stays, and expands.

“There’s not a Fig Newton made in the US today — they’re all made in Mexico.”

 

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