Maple Leaf Foods is closing down Kitchener's Schneiders plant and moving all plant operations to Hamilton. (Brian St. Denis/CBC)

The closure of Kitchener's Schneiders plant will result in 500 of the plant's 1,200 workers being laid off, says Coun. Frank Etherington. 

Maple Leaf Foods has so far only confirmed the number of layoffs will be less than 1,200. A spokesman could not immediately provide specific numbers.

Etherington, who sits on a city task force overseeing the closure​, said many workers opted to retire early or leave voluntarily. He added that some workers were transferring to the new Hamilton plant and that some employees have enrolled in a retraining program.

Maple Leaf Foods began the process of closing the Kitchener plant on Labour Day last year by shutting down its distribution centre and laying off 150 workers.

The company will be moving all plant operations to Hamilton. Etherington says the Courtland Avenue plant will officially close in December.

The company will open an employee job centre near downtown Kitchener in September to help employees find new jobs or enter retraining programs.