General Mills Closing West Chicago, Joplin Plants—Over 600 Jobs Lost

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Cereal maker General Mills, Inc. has announced that it is closing two more plants over the next four years, causing a loss of over 600 jobs.

The cereal maker reported that the closings are in response to dwindling dry good and cereal sales as consumers’s tastes change and as the impact of gluten-free and high-protein diets grow in popularity.

The facilities targeted for closure are its West Chicago, Illinois, and Joplin, Missouri, plants.

The West Chicago closing will affect some 500 jobs, while the Missouri closing will affect about 120 jobs, company spokesmen say.

The company reports that costs of the closures will reach to about $120 million in charges by the 2019 closure of the West Chicago plant and as much as $12 million by 2018 for the Missouri plant.

The newly-announced closures come on the heels of the company’s announcement in January that it was closing two Pillsbury dough factories, adding to the elimination of about 1,400 jobs announced in 2014. Last month, General Mills also said it expects to cut 675 to 725 positions abroad from a recently-announced restructuring.

The cereal giant noted that it hopes to save $310 million in fiscal 2016 with the changes being implemented.

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