Northeast Times

Meeting will discuss future of Kraft factory

An un­cer­tain fu­ture: (From left) State Sen. Mike Stack, state Reps. Kev­in Boyle and Bren­don Boyle at­ten­ded a news con­fer­ence to ex­press their dis­con­tent with the pos­sible clos­ing of the Kraft plant. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Rep­res­ent­at­ives of gov­ern­ment and in­dustry will meet down­town Thursday, Nov. 21, to dis­cuss the fu­ture of a North­east land­mark.

The pos­sib­il­ity that the old Kraft plant at By­berry and the Boulevard will close and erase al­most 300 jobs has giv­en pub­lic of­fi­cials plenty to worry about, so they’re go­ing to sit down with rep­res­ent­at­ives of Mondelez, the com­pany that now owns the bakery, to get some ques­tions answered and make a few sug­ges­tions. That meet­ing will be a private sit­down with com­pany ex­ec­ut­ives, mem­bers of the Gov­ernor’s Ac­tion Team, state Sen. Mike Stack, state Reps. Kev­in Boyle and Brendan Boyle and City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill in at­tend­ance along with oth­er state and city Com­merce De­part­ment of­fi­cials.

Dis­cus­sions in that meet­ing will cen­ter on keep­ing the plant open, but will in­clude talk of how the com­pany could ex­pand in the city, said Brendan Boyle’s spokes­man, Mark Lad­ley.

Stack and the Boyle broth­ers on Nov. 13 also called for a very pub­lic meet­ing, town hall style, in which mem­bers of the pub­lic and plant work­ers could talk to com­pany ex­ec­ut­ives about what Mondelez in­tends to do, said Lad­ley.

A spokes­wo­man for Mondelez, which split off from Kraft last year, said the com­pany told its em­ploy­ees on Nov. 6 that it was con­sid­er­ing clos­ing down the 57-year-old bakery and heav­ily in­vest­ing in ex­pan­sion in New Jer­sey and Vir­gin­ia. Noth­ing has been de­cided yet, com­pany spokes­wo­man Laurie Guzzinati said last week. 

Guzzinati last week said Mondelez, whose well-known brands in­clude Or­eos, Ritz crack­ers, Teddy Gra­hams, Cad­bury chocol­ates and Tang, is con­sid­er­ing spend­ing $100 mil­lion to ex­pand its bak­ing fa­cil­it­ies in Fair­lawn, N.J., and Rich­mond, Va.

But, the re­frain from the com­pany and the city has been: Noth­ing is cer­tain yet. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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