Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has closed a wiener-producing plant in Hamilton that has been in operation since 1994, and has transferred operations to its new plant, also in Hamilton.
It’s the first of a number of closures that will take place this year, including the main Schneider’s plant on Courtland Avenue in Kitchener.
When the closures are complete, the Hamilton plant will be the largest and most modern meat-processing plant in Canada.
There were 213 workers at the wiener plant in Hamilton. About 20 of them will lose their jobs.
The Kitchener plant employed more than 2,000 last year. At one time it also slaughtered cattle, hogs and chickens, but all of the slaughter operations were shut down long ago.
Bacon, which also was a major item produced at the Kitchener plant, hasn’t been produced there for decades; bacon processing has become a specialized business dominated now by Prince Foods, a division of Olymel of Quebec.
Maple Leaf's news release about the wiener-plant closure was issued late Thursday when most reporters were gone for the long weekend.