Hershey in talks to close main site, expand another

by Eric Schroeder
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HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. has reached a tentative labor agreement with the union representing employees at its 19 East Chocolate Avenue and West Hershey facilities in Hershey that, if approved, would significantly expand production at the latter site while turning the 105-year-old former site into an administrative office building. Approximately 600 jobs would be eliminated with the move.

A vote by the 1,600 union members who work at both facilities is set for June 4.

Hershey said the move is part of its “strategic supply chain assessment,” and if approved would “expand the company’s West Hershey manufacturing facility into one of the world’s largest and most advanced chocolate-making facilities.” The expansion is expected to include a $200 million investment to add 260,000 square feet.

If the plan to move production to the West site is not approved, the company is threatening to move the expansion and jobs elsewhere.

“If employees do not approve the tentative agreement, the company will be forced to quickly consider an alternative location in the United States,” said Kirk Saville, spokesman for Hershey.

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