Nestle has plans to lay off 53 employees and close its Northeast Portland facility on November 1.
The Oregonian first reported the closure, and cited a Sept. 2 letter from Nestle alerting state officials to the layoffs.
"The closure is expected to be permanent," wrote human resources director Penny Finley in the letter, addressed to John Asher, a rapid response coordinator for the state.
According to a Bloomberg story in May, Nestle is restructuring its frozen foods sector by shifting to a warehouse model rather than a store-delivery model. The total tally of people who will be put out of jobs will be 8.3% of the company's total national workforce, or roughly 4,000 employees.
The letter lists the variety of positions that will be eliminated, mostly consisting of sales representatives. Seven delivery truck drivers will also be put out of work.
Asher tells WW that Nestle human resources employee Sarah Hartwell emailed him following the letter and said that all four locations in Oregon "are affected" by the cuts—though Asher says it was unclear if employees at any other Oregon Nestle facility will be laid off. The Nestle facilities are located in Portland, Bend, Newport and Eugene.
Nestle could not be reached for comment.
The Northeast Portland facility serves both the NestleUSA and Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream branches.
If a company intends to layoff over a certain number of employees, they are required to alert state officials. Asher says his team is tasked with giving unemployed Oregonians the resources they need to get employed again as quickly as possible. Asher says they normally go to the site where people are getting laid off and present resources including healthcare options and employment opportunities.
"We're the ones who take care of employees once they lose their jobs," Asher says. "We direct traffic more than anything."
Asher says Nestle has been easy to work with so far.
Asher says this isn't a huge layoff for a company as big as Nestle.
The state tracks local layoff announcements in a database, which can be found here.
Nestle isn't the only company to cut costs by eliminating the direct delivery model and shifting to a warehouse model. Hostess and Kellogg both recently opted to cut out the middlemen of their operations, like truck drivers and store stockers.
Nestle has a divisive history in Oregon. In 2016, Hood River citizens passed a ballot measure that prohibited water bottling plants, ending Nestle Waters' long campaign to install a bottling plant in the town. In 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered state officials to ban Nestle from bottling water from a Cascade Locks spring.