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Union Members Urge Boycott As NE Phila. Food Plant Is Shuttered

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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) — Area elected officials and union members gathered today outside the former Nabisco and Kraft bakery in Northeast Philadelphia to protest the company decision to close the factory by early next year.

Word that Mondelez International is “consolidating its current US biscuit manufacturing footprint” by closing its Philadelphia bakery, at Byberry Road and Roosevelt Boulevard, prompted state representative Brendan Boyle to say Mondelez is exploiting workers for even more profits.

“This is corporate greed on steroids,” he said today.

Boyle says it’s not a case of the company falling on hard times and needing to change its business model.  He says Mondelez made $54 billion last year.

Shutting down the plant will affect more than 300 workers.  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, who has put in 30 years at the plant, joined a chorus of others who suggested boycotting Fig Newton, Oreo, Ritz, and other brands of cookies and crackers whose production Mondelez has shifted to plants in Mexico.

“Put it back on the shelf if it says ‘Made in Mexico’ on the box and the code date on the box has an ‘MM’ — that’s Monterey, Mexico,” Lazar said.

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