Pepsi plant in Puerto Rico closes, leaves 200 unemployed
SAN JUAN – Following the closure of a Pepsi Co. plant in Puerto Rico, Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy announced Friday the activation of the State Unit for Displaced Workers to help the 200 laid-off employees.
In a written statement, the secretary said that according to the information provided by the company, its decision is part of a global business measure that is not linked to the aftermath of hurricanes Irma or Maria. The decision to close the plant does not affect the remaining jobs at the plant, which employs about a 1,000 workers.
Laboy added that he was discussing the matter with president of the Chamber of Food Marketing, Industry & Distribution (MIDA by its Spanish acronym), Ricky Castro, who would circulate the profile data of the dismissed workers among the organization’s member companies so they would take them into account when filling vacancies.
Meanwhile, in an effort to identify a prospective buyer to acquire the facilities, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. has been holding meetings with interested parties.
The Displaced Workers Unit of the Labor Department’s Development Program coordinates the provision of inter-agency information on available government aid such as unemployment insurance, Employment Service, Nutritional Assistance Program, Child Support Services Administration (Asume by its Spanish acronym) and the government’s health program, among others.
The unit also provides psychological support services; financial planning advice; guidance on resume, interview techniques and transition management; as well as job search assistance and skill-development alternatives.