Some layoffs are immediate and some will happen in the future, said
Kimberly Constant, a company spokeswoman. All employees will be given
severance packages and help finding new jobs, she said.
Joe Weller, chairman and CEO of Nestle USA, said in a statement
employment decisions are always difficult ones to make. The company must
do it, he said, to remain competitive.
"This work force reduction will enable us to remain a top player in
this highly competitive industry," he said.
One Los Angeles-area economist said the restructuring is small for a
company as big as Nestle USA. A 5% or 10% reduction in employees
constitutes a major restructuring, said Jack Kyser, chief economist at
the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
"A 1% reduction in employees just tells me they are keeping an eye on
the bottom line," he said.
The food manufacturing industry has become more competitive, Kyser
said, as large department stores such as Wal-Mart have increased the
products they sell to include food. Wal-Mart buys products at lower
prices so they can sell them at lower prices, he said.
"It's a very competitive business with small profit margin," he said.
Nestle USA, whose products include such diverse brands as NesQuik,
ALPO, Taster's Choice and Butterfinger, is part of the world's largest
food company, the Swiss-based Nestle S.A.
Constant said the jobs that are to be eliminated are varied and
throughout the company. The company's executive offices are on Brand
Kyser said the job market is strong for displaced workers with skills.
"They'll be back behind a desk before they know it," he said.