The cereal giant also plans to idle two existing lines at the plant but keep them in place and ready should the need for more production arise, according to spokesperson Kris Charles.
This will end operations in the warehouse and transition to a direct-ship model of distribution instead of having employees’ stock products on retailers' shelves.
Investing in Rice Krispies Treats
Charles added the cut to almost half of the employees at the Porter Street plant would allow Kellogg’s to simplify operations to increase production of its bran cereals and invest in bumped rice production for Rice Krispies Treats.
She said the changes would better position the plant for success and was part of the company’s 2020 Growth Plan.
The move is also the latest in a number of efforts by Kellogg’s to trim its workforce – purportedly by 1,500 employees – after a lower-than-expected sales in 2013.
The company, which has about 2,300 employees in Battle Creek, is giving union leaders the opportunity to provide feedback before a final decision is made on the Porter Street cuts.
Charles said the process is expected to take about 60 days.
Replacing displaced workers
Kellogg’s wants to work community leaders to find job opportunities for the displaced workers.
Trevor Bidelman, resident of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union, Local 3-G, said the planned cuts would affect 187 of his members.
The layoffs are part of a broader cost-cutting plan announced by the maker of Rice Krispies, Pop-Tarts and Keebler cookies to close 39 of its US distribution centers.