H.L. Heinz announced Thursday that it will close its food processing facility in Florence and lay off the approximately 200 employees who work there over the next eight months.
South Carolina Radio Network confirmed the layoffs with a company spokesman after several media outlets in the Pee Dee region began reporting the move.
The Pennsylvania-based company said it will also be closing manufacturing facilities in Idaho and Ontario, Canada, which the company said would impact a total of 1,350 jobs.
“Our decision to consolidate manufacturing across North America is a critical step in our plan to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to become more competitive in a challenging environment, and to accelerate the Company’s future growth,” Michael Mullen, Heinz’s Senior Vice President of Corporate & Government Affairs, said in a statement.
He said the company will be providing workers with severance benefits, outplacement services and other support to help affected employees pursue new job opportunities at the appropriate time.
The frozen food processing plant in Florence opened in March 2011.
“We reached this decision after thoroughly exploring extensive alternatives and options,” Mullen wrote. “Heinz fully appreciates and regrets the impact our decision will have on employees and the communities in which these factories are located.”