News 12 First at Five, July 24, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The distribution center at the Kellogg's plant here in Augusta is set to close by the end of September. Company spokesperson Kris Charles calls it a business move. She says, "This is a business decision, and it's never an easy one, but it's not a reflection on these employees who have done very good work for the company."
It's all part of a company reorganization plan. The plant will continue to produce their staple products like cookies and crackers in Augusta. But those products will be shipped to a larger regional distribution center.
Charles says, "Approximately 120 jobs will be impacted in the Augusta area." 60 of those jobs are held by truck drivers. Union representative Mike Harris says those workers will get a bonus if they opt to stay through September 30, 2007 and a severance package with one week's pay for every year of service.
There is even a chance workers could be hired for other positions. Charles says, "We are adding positions within the company through other initiatives and those individuals are eligible to apply for any open position."
So what does this all mean for the job market here in Augusta? Walter Sprouse, executive director of the Richmond County Development Authority says, "We'll continue to enjoy all the baked goods they have, and with the people that are being laid off, over a period of time I feel very confident they'll be able to find employment here in Augusta because Augusta is growing."