Unilever to lay off 437 as it closes Hagerstown plant

Unilever has notified state regulators that it will begin closing its Hagerstown ice cream plant in November, ultimately laying off 437 workers, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Monday.

The company had announced plans to close without an exact date two years ago.

Tim Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said Unilever doesn't expect to finish the shutdown until August 2013.

What remains unclear is how quickly the bulk of workers will be laid off, he said. The county intends to help them find new jobs, he said.

Unilever, based in London and Rotterdam, told county officials that the shutdown "was a cost issue," Troxell said.

"There were other plants where they felt they could make the product at a lower cost," he said.



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