New Brunswick

460 jobs to be cut at Moncton Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods revealed that 460 jobs are on the chopping block as plans were announced Wednesday that its Moncton distribution centre will be closed by 2014.

Maple Leaf Foods revealed that 460 jobs are on the chopping block as plans were announced Wednesday that its Moncton facility will be closed by 2014.

The company said the move is part of a plan to simplify its distribution network.

Burlington, Kitchener and Coquitlam facilities will also be closed. In total,1,550 jobs will be cut.

"It's still a difficult message for employees to hear. But we're committed to work with them to work on the transition and also work on an alternate facility. It's still a good facility. We have a skilled dedicated workforce," Norm Sabapathy, spokesman for Maple Leaf told CBC News Wednesday.

"So we've already taken the first step in that by contacting the mayor and we've put together a task force that we'll be assembling shortly, that will look at alternate uses of the facilities."

A new, purpose-built facility in Ontario will service eastern Canada, while an existing facility in Saskatoon will serve as the western hub.

CBC was unable to reach representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents the employees affected.

The Toronto-based company, which processes meats and other foods, is investing about $560 million in upgrades boost competitiveness and profitability.