Oscar Mayer leaner
Kraft Heinz looks to upgrade its Oscar Mayer wiener plant in Missouri by replacing three production lines with two modern ones and a reduction of some 150 employees.
July 17, 2015 By Andrew Joseph
Although the newly merged Kraft Heinz company is looking to invest $114-million in its Oscar Mayer wiener (hot dog) plant in Columbia, MO, the anticipated upgrades that the new production lines and a plant expansion of 25,000 square feet , are not universally cheered by the plant’s employees.
Kraft Heinz says the plant upgrades will also come along with better high-speed production lines, which means 100 full-time and 150-part-time workers will lose their jobs—though the company says it will not lay anyone off—supporting attrition and early retirement options, leaving it with approximate 350 employees.
Kraft Heniz says it realizes that without the new production line expenditure, the facility would not be financially viable, which is why it has asked local government for a 75 percent property tax break for 10 years on the $114 million in equipment and infrastructure upgrades.
Actually, the 75 percent break would apply for seven years for equipment, and 10 years on real property like the building addition.
Since the Columbia plant opened in 1986, it has produced over 28-billion hot dogs. In fact, the three-building facility makes only hot dogs—and only Oscar Mayer hot dogs—and is a key cog in keeping the summertime smiles and bellies happy… except the Missouri people are aware that there are an additional eight Kraft Heinz plants that could pick up the slack should the worst-case scenario occur and the company closes up shop in Columbia.
The expansion will be completed by 2017. No word on the tax break decision at this time.