Layoffs announced at Sikeston plant

Ed Dust, Executive Director of Sikeston Economic Development
Ed Dust, Executive Director of Sikeston Economic Development

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Another sign of the tough economic times comes as Sikeston employer, Unilever, announces layoffs.

According to Corporate Unilever Media Relations Manager Dean Mastrojohn, the decision made is due to the seasonality of the ice cream business.

Unilever is a multi-national corporation that owns many consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents, and personal care products. At the Sikeston location they make ice cream.

"Specifically it's a seasonal drop in demand due to the end of the summer
season", said Mastrojohn. "It in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our Sikeston employees."

Mastrojohn declined to elaborate on the number of cuts, and which departments would be affected.

Ed Dust the Executive Director of Sikeston Economic Development doesn't have hard numbers either, but is aware of the cuts. "A company like Unilever that's been a leader for years, a top employer in manufacturing and industrial production ... when they start laying off people it affects our community," said Dust.

The economic development director says while that's not great news, he says it's far from the bigger picture in Sikeston.

He says smaller companies are hiring, and anticipates growth in the near future.

"We're always working on projects, and we have one that is really close to being announced very soon," said Dust. "We have other projects we're working with...other companies seem like we've had more inquiries so that makes me feel really good that people are looking again."

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