UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - Kraft Foods is putting the brakes on its private trucking fleet, leaving about 285 employees nationwide out of a job.
Dozens of workers at Kraft's Upper Macungie plant got the news Thursday.
"I was one of the original six drivers."
Richard Kutz says he's had a great career driving for Kraft in the Lehigh Valley.
"November was 41 years, and I reached 5-million miles safe driving," Kutz shared.
Thursday, the Fleetwood man and other trucking employees at 10 sites across the country got the news they had been expecting, but definitely didn't want.
Starting in June, everyone will be let go as Kraft discontinues its private trucking fleet.
Locally that means about 30 workers will be let go.
"I think we have about 25 drivers, and two full time mechanics, one maintenance supervisor and secretary," described Kutz.
Kutz says there were signs the pink slips could be coming soon.
"They weren't getting new equipment, and the truck I'm driving now they got it on a lease, a short term lease," he explained. "You sort of felt that things were kind of winding down."
Nationwide the layoffs will happen in phases.
Kraft plans to use larger commercial carriers to haul goods between its plants and distribution centers.
"The plans have nothing to do with the performance of the Kraft private fleet," shared Kraft Spokesperson Joyce Hodel. "Our Kraft private fleet has provided outstanding service to their internal and external customers."
Kraft officials say the affected employees will get separation benefits.
Kutz tells us he plans to try and find a new job driving trucks.
"Sorry to see it end this way, I was going to retire maybe two more years, but all good things end I guess, all good things come to an end," he smiled.
Allentown, PA 18102