Heinz’ second-quarter results’ announcement was subdued, particulary when compared to the publication of its record fiscal 2011 results in May, which it celebrated by announcing the elimination of 1000 jobs.
This time, earnings have fallen (by 5.7%) and the number of announced plant closures and layoffs has fallen too. The additional closures were prompted by the need to improve the company’s earnings per share.
In May 2011, Heinz announced a restructuring of its supply chain and manufacturing network with the closure of 5 plants. Four have since been identified and are in the process of closure: Międzychód in Poland, Gigarre in Australia and King of Prussia and Stockton in the US. The 5th closure, which is expected to be in Europe, has yet to be announced.
Heinz has now announced a plan to close three more plants worldwide, adding that “certain projects included in the plan are subject to consultation and any necessary agreements being reached with appropriate employee representative bodies, trade unions and works councils as required by law.”
And where consultation and negotiation are not “required by law” and workers don’t benefit from union representation, the company will presumably ruthlessly push through its decision.