By Bianca Bykhovsky
After more than 60 years baking cookies and crackers, Mr. Christie’s factory in Etobicoke will shut down in the new year, leaving 550 employees without work.
Mondeléz International Incorporated -the Ilinois-based company that owns the factory – announced the closure Thursday.
“The writing was on the wall,” David Bryenton, an employee at the factory for 29 years, told Humber News. “It will be really tough for a lot of people. Many of the people who work here think (the factory) will pull a fast one on them right before they shut down.”
Bryenton said he saw this coming. He said that even before the closure was announced, the company began offering senior employees a $30,000 package to leave.
Listen here to some additional information Bryenton told Humber News:
Some residents in the neighbourhood will be sad to see a part of the community go.
“It doesn’t bother me that there’s a factory in this area because to me Christie’s has always been here – it’s one of those things. My son-in-law is 60 and he worked here as a student,“ Barbara Young, a resident who lives five minutes from the factory, told Humber News.
“I will miss them because we shop here regularly and we enjoy the lower prices that we get, the wholesale prices, and it’ll be too far to drive when they move,” she said.
Speculation that condos will replace the factory has some residents concerned.
“This is ridiculous, the plant has been here forever,” Michael Bricker, a resident of the neighbourhood told Humber News. “They shouldn’t have to shut it down just to build some condos.”
Coun. Peter Milczyn, of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, said today in a press release that he will work with Mondeléz’s Canadian branch to make sure jobs stay in Toronto.
According to the release, the councilor is encouraging the company to relocate employment to their sister plants in Toronto.
A Mondeléz spokesperson could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.