As the White House pushes for more corporate trade deals like TPP, the effects from older ones are still leaving their mark on American workers. Nabisco, now owned by Mondelez International, plans to get rid of half of the workers at the the company’s Southwest Side Chicago bakery and send the jobs to a new facility in Salinas, Mexico.
The Mexican facility will now be responsible for making some of Nabisco’s most popular products, including Oreos, and Ritz crackers. In total the Chicago plant will lose 600 jobs and nine production lines.
According to Mondelez, the cost difference between operating the Chicago and Salinas plants is $46 million and the company “invited” the unions to offer solutions to the operating gap before deciding to layoff workers. Critics have pointed out that Mondelez appeared to have already decided when the company opened the new plant in Mexico last year.
Though the Chicago plant will not be shutdown entirely, Mondelez decided against paying for upgrades to the facility — a sign the company may be looking to move even more production to its new facility in Salinas, which has more modern production equipment.
Meanwhile, Nabisco plant workers in Chicago asked Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Barack Obama to save their jobs and make sure the plant stays online. But given trade agreements like NAFTA and, soon, TPP, there is not much elected officials can really do when corporations make decisions regarding the future of communities.
In the final analysis, business is in control.