News - June 15, 2011

Menlo Park: About 150 to lose jobs in closing of alcohol bottling plant

by Caitlin Moyles

About 150 people will lose their jobs when an alcohol bottling facility on Commonwealth Drive in Menlo Park closes on July 31. The plant belongs to Diageo, a UK-based company that sells brands that include Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness, and Captain Morgan.

Diageo decided to close the plant on Commonwealth Drive after a strategic review of its supply operations, according to a statement issued by the company.

The closure is a blow to the 128 union workers and approximate 20 non-union workers who have tried to find solutions to keep the plant open, said Fred Pecker, secretary-treasurer of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 6.

A total of 53 of the union workers have been there more than 20 years, and 18 of those have been there more than 34 years, he said.

"We have a lot of people who've spent a lifetime in that plant," Mr. Pecker said. "A lot of these people were planning on retiring, and now they have to go out and look for jobs."


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