San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Nestle USA Division Lays Off 103 Chatsworth Employees

By Angela Melero Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nestlé USA plans to layoff 103 Chatsworth employees of its Prepared Foods Division, effective Feb. 1.

The Chatsworth facility specializes in the manufacturing of the popular frozen packaged meal brand, Hot Pockets, and currently employs 645 workers.

Roz O’Hearn, spokesperson for Nestlé Prepared Foods, said the layoffs are a result of the decrease in demand in the frozen food market and the company’s attempt to retain its competitive advantage.

“The economy has affected the frozen food business,” O’Hearn said. “The prices of ingredients have increased and there’s a change in consumer demand.”

At meetings in December, the company shared with employees its plans to cut the manufacturing facility’s production schedule from six days of operation to four. The schedule changes eliminated the need for the current number of employees, O’Hearn said.

A year ago, Nestlé’s Nutrition announced plans to close its plant in Minnesota, cutting nearly 250 jobs in a span of two years.

Although there are no official plans for additional layoffs, O’Hearn said the company will continue to examine the situation and make adjustments when and where necessary.