Amoroso Laying Off 200, Closing Long-Running Southwest Philly Plant
Amoroso’s Baking Co. is laying off 200 workers and closing its long-standing Southwest Philadelphia facility. The company will now make its bread and rolls in Bellmawr, N.J. after receiving a $20.7 million tax credit from the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.
Workers were told on Wednesday and will have the opportunity to reapply for their jobs. But some are sure to decline the opportunity because of age and reliance on public transportation, said Hank McKay, president of Local 6 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.
“A lot of our folks commute with pubic transportation or walk to work. These are mainly folks from the area,” said McKay. “A lot of our folks don’t drive – some do — but a lot of the old timers from the neighborhood don’t.”
McKay said the union will work with Amoroso on severance package plans and extensions of health care benefits. He called the facility “a landmark in Philadelphia.”
Along with Ginsburg Bakery, Amoroso has entered into an agreement to create a baking facility operated by a new entity called 151 Foods.
An Amoroso spokesperson said the company had been looking for a larger, more modernized facility. The spokesperson also said the workers were laid off and have to reapply for their jobs because they’ll be working for a new company and be in a new union (the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Local 152). The transition process will begin in October and go until December.
Attempts to reach Amoroso executives were unsuccessful.