Highbury Canco Hopes to Add More Jobs at Leamington Plant
The Windsor Star/Grace Macaluso
The new owners of the H.J. Heinz plant in Leamington expressed hope Friday they will be able to hire additional workers at the plant as early as next year.
“We are hoping that we will add new machinery and more people in 2015, said Pradeep Sood, one of three investors who formed Highbury Canco Corp., which purchased the facility earlier this year from the Pittsburgh-based food giant. While current production will be sold domestically, the long-term plans is to expand production and markets, including the U.S. and Asia, said Sood.
Initially, about 250 people — about 30 per cent of the current workforce — will be employed at the plant shortly after Heinz ceases operations in Leamington next Thursday, said Sood. The new operation will manufacture about 110 products for Heinz, including tomato juice, canned pasta, beans and stews, he said.
About 400 people have applied for the positions that will pay hourly wages that are lower than current rates.
“The wages will be fair,” said Sood. “We are not Heinz; we are a small business trying to make a sustainable business out of this whole investment and project.”