Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kiss puts 27 workers on the breadline

Local manufacturer Kiss Baking Company has laid off 27 workers as it increased prices on several of its snack cake products and discontinued others which were not selling well.

The employees were sent home late last week and were offered severance packages, sources familiar with the operations of the Chaguanas-based company told the Express.

The workers were laid off on a 'last in, first out' basis.

Two former workers, who did not want to be identified, said they were given no notice that their positions were no longer available.

They said they were told the company was streamlining the operations of its snack cake division and had no choice but to cut some jobs.

Company officials authorised to speak about the lay-offs at Kiss could not be immediately reached for comment yesterday.

Kiss has also discontinued some of its baked products, including its peanut butter and jelly filler sandwiches, its croissants and doughnuts because of underperforming sales, sources close to the company said.

The company recently increased prices on its Goodie, cupcake and iced cupcake treats.

Lisa Morales, business unit head, Cakes Division at Kiss, told the Express by phone last week there was a 50-cent increase on a number of its snack cake products.

"We haven't had a price increase since 2008 and, like everywhere else, we are faced with higher raw material costs like cocoa and oils as well as higher labour costs. We held out for as long as we could," Morales said.

In July 2011, the Chaguanas-based baking company increased prices on its bread products.

—Curtis Rampersad