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Nestle Abandons Workers as it Shutters Freehold Plant

November 17 Nestle closed it’s last plant in the U.S. at Freehold, NJ as it moves all it’s operations offshore to Mexico. Back on June 22nd this year, Nestle informed workers and their families that the plant will be closing as part of an offshoring of production from New Jersey to Mexico. Nestle claimed “updating the factory would cost tens of millions in additional investments.” Teamsters Local 11, the union representing the workers at the plant, protested the closure, but Nestle gave no further details on the future of the plant in Freehold, NJ. Per Teamsters Local 11 President Michael Curcio:

“Without any regard to the livelihoods of 200 workers and their families, Nestlé executives announced today that they will close the Freehold plant. This company should be ashamed for turning their backs on workers in Freehold and the community that has been home to this company for more than 70 years. Nestlé took advantage of New Jersey taxpayer subsidies, built a $340 million facility in Mexico, and will now exploit cheaper labor in another country at the expense of New Jersey workers—this is nothing short of disgusting corporate greed. Teamsters Local 11 will continue fighting to protect our members at Nestlé. We demand this company meet the needs of these workers as they navigate the next steps during this very difficult time.”

Nestle has other factories in the United States, but the Freehold NJ factory was the only one that produced coffee. With the shutting of the Freehold factory, the new factory in Veracruz, Mexico would be the main producer of coffee for Nestle employing 1200 people. This is also the second factory in Veracruz, Mexico operated by Nestle.

In claiming to save tens of millions by shutting down the Freehold factory, Nestle spent hundreds of millions more dollars to build a completely new factory and infrastructure in another country. Nestle threw out over 200 unionized workers and their families in order to further exploit 1200 lower paid, non-unionized workers. The town of Freehold, NJ had given Nestle over 70 years of support only for the company to throw them into an uncertain future.

The corporate greed of Nestle is on display with the closure. Nestle made approx. 10.74 billion USD in profit in 2022, yet can’t spare any of that profit to give workers a living wage and stability to their communities. Nestle Executive Board members walked away with approx. 57 million USD in compensation in 2020, yet can’t be bothered to pay 200 workers a fair wage.

LUEL stands in solidarity with the New Jersey workers in their fight for their jobs and their community and decry the greed of Nestle. The UAW bargaining, and winning, the right to strike over plant closures is a right workers must demand in order to protect their future from these closures triggered by the search for ever-increasing profits.


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