DERRY TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY—The Hershey Company says shifting candy production from the century old East Chocolate Plant to its newer facility across town will keep the candy maker competitive and cost effective. On Friday, union workers will decide whether or not to go along with the tentative labor agreement. The Local 464 Union vote could mean the difference between losing hundreds of jobs or having chocolate production move out of Hershey.
"This is probably one of the most important votes out here in a long, long time," said Local 464 Business Manager Dennis Bomberger.
The agreement would move more than 600 workers to the West Hershey Plant where the company is looking to expand chocolate making production by the end of 2011. At the same time, up to 600 people would be let go in exchange for keeping production in Hershey.
"This is not the first time Hershey has taken jobs away from Pennsylvania," said Governor Ed Rendell.
Governor Rendell said the state is working with Hershey to come up with financial incentives to help save jobs in Chocolatetown.
Union workers will be voting throughout the day Friday before all of the votes are tallied.