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Unsettling news yesterday, that Hersheys of Reading PA is the latest to preserve profits at the expense of struggling workers by closing a US plant and moving production to Mexico.

Please forgive that this diary is thinly sourced but after reading Drooggie's diary, I am extremely upset and hope against hope that some urgent action may be useful, if others will call and voice disapproval quickly.

Another better diarist than I can perhaps write an expose over their two-year-long plan to dump 1/3 of their workforce [1,500] - of which this plant closing is only the most recent.

Update - Granny0Philly comments that she grew up near there and has added some marvelous information below on Hershey's philanthropy - the move to corporatism in this case is stark in the lives of folks in PA...

Update Cont'd - Granny quotes from the Hershey website:

With Milton Hershey's success came a profound sense of moral responsibility and benevolence....He built a model town for his employees that included comfortable homes, an inexpensive public transportation system, a quality public school system and extensive recreational and cultural opportunities...Many of the town's impressive structures were built during the Great Depression, as part of Milton Hershey's "Great Building Campaign," to provide jobs....[H]e and his wife Catherine established a school for orphan boys that today is known as the Milton S. Hershey School....For the rest of his life, he always placed the quality of his product and the well-being of his workers ahead of profits.

Thanks to Granny0Philly for that info from the website of the town of Hershey, PA

Compare and contrast to corporate Hershey's today:

It seems that 250+ jobs of workers producing York mints, 5th Avenue bars, Zagnut bars and Jolly Rancher hard candies will now be searching for jobs out in Reading PA.

Hershey's is moving its production to Mexico - while the local newspaper does not compare the cost of living at this outsourcing locale, or the changes in production costs - including wages - the self-evident truth is that Hershey's cold move is yet another nail in the coffin of living wages for US workers.

This Associated Press article is found in a small news outlet,
phillyburbs dot com

There is little to say that cannot be read and wept over there: that this plant was in Reading for twenty three years, that 260 people will be out of work as of Friday, that one may figure Hershey's has been planning this to be a seamless profit-maker transfer for a while. since they've already built their replacement plant in Monterrey, Mexico, etc etc.

I urge others to boycott Hershey's [this means a lot to me as I am a Jolly Rogers hard candy addict]

and to telephone Hersheys and voice your outrage. Doubtful that calls  at this stage will help change facts on the ground but perhaps may help create some kind of uproar, who knows.

The phone number to reach them is 800-468-1714

thanks all.

Originally posted to puffmeister on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:51 AM PST.

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