Weston Foods in Kingston lays off employees

Click to play video: 'Weston Foods cuts an entire production line in Kingston'
Weston Foods cuts an entire production line in Kingston
Jamie Lindsay says at least 40 employees at Weston Foods Bakery in Kingston are being laid off – Nov 8, 2019

Jamie Lindsay has worked at Weston Foods for three years.

He says he was one of at least 30 workers at the Kingston plant to find out this week that they’re being laid off.

“You can’t work, your mind is all over the place, and my mind was ‘now I have to go home and tell my wife and kids I don’t have a job anymore,'” Lindsay told Global News.

He said employees were told as a group from head office that employees with Weston Foods’ one of two production lines were being cut.

“You get to a union job and you think you have a good job and you work hard to get where you are and now you have nothing, you have to start all over again,” Lindsay said.

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The Kingston plant is owned by George Weston Limited, which controls Loblaw companies and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Weston Foods in Kingston produces bread, buns and other baked goods for companies like Wonder, Country Harvest and D’Italiano.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Represents the workers at the plant.

While the local union president, Braden Babcock, confirmed he’s one of the laid-off workers, he had little else to say.

“I can’t confirm or deny anything to you at this point,” said Babcock over the phone.

In a statement, Weston Foods confirmed the decision to eliminate one of two production lines.

“As part of a broader strategy, Weston Foods began an extensive transformation program in late 2017,” wrote Dawn Gordon, communications director for Weston Foods.

The Canadian company wouldn’t confirm how many local people were affected, only saying it amounts to less than one per cent of its workforce of about 200,000 nationally.

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“We deeply regret the personal impact this reduction will have on our employees and are committed to providing extensive support and resources to help those affected transition to new employment,” the statement from Weston Foods read.

Lindsay says he’s been told his last day is Nov. 22. After that he’s not sure what’s next.

“Everybody’s lost, they’re not sure what to do or where they’re going.”

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