As ConAgra Foods prepares to close its Carriage House plants in Fredonia and Dunkirk, Rep. Tom Reed says lawmakers are working hard to ensure other businesses don’t do the same.
The company last week announced that it plans to move its operations to Buckner, Kentucky by February 2015. The local plants make private label products, such as salad dressings, spaghetti sauce and peanut butter.
Reed says he wasn’t pleased to hear the company is closing its local plants. He said, however, business expenses made it difficult for the company to remain locally.
“It’s the additional costs. The soft costs, the regulatory requirements that they have to comply with, the workers comp rates that New York State has on the books. The local liability rates for insurance purposes that they’ve got to pay seem to be a little more in our area than other places,” said Reed, in a Monday morning media conference call.
Reed says New York State has to work harder to create an environment that allows businesses to be competitive in the marketplace.
“When we see policies coming out of New York that make the business decisions that people like ConAgra need to make we need to do better and we’ll continue to work to improve the environment in New York State,” said Reed.
The move is expected to put 425 people out of work. Reed says his office is ready to be a resource for displaced employees. He says his offices plans to hold ConAgra accountable for paying any promised severance packages.