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General Mills Covington layoffs unknown
General Mills says no announcement for Covington layoffs
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Covington's General Mills plant. - photo by Darrell Everidge

No announcements have been made from General Mills concerning layoffs at the Covington plant.

The Minneapolis based company, which employs about 43,000 full-time and part-time employees, announced it will cut approximately 700-800 jobs.

In a Sept. 18 form 8-K filing, which is a form used to notify investors of an event important to shareholders or the SEC, General Mills announced several multi-year restructuring initiatives, including Project Catalyst.

The Form 8-K, acquired by The Covington News, described Project Catalyst as “a restructuring plan designed to increase organizational effectiveness and reduce overhead expense.”

General Mills expects about $135 million to $160 million in restructuring charges and foresees annual cost savings of approximately $125 million to $150 million, starting in fiscal 2016.

General Mills anticipates the current restructuring to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2015.

Bridget Christenson, External Communications Manager for General Mills said the layoffs will effect primarily salaried positions in General Mills’ U.S. businesses, and the functions and groups that support those businesses.

According to the Star Tribune, General Mills last had a company-wide layoff in 2012, eliminating about 850 jobs.

Last month General Mills, which also makes Cheerios and Yoplait yogurt, said that it was closing a facility in Methuen, Massachusetts, which would eliminate about 250 positions. It also announced plans to close a plant in Lodi, California that would result in approximately 430 jobs being cut. General Mills said in a regulatory filing at the time that the decision on the Lodi facility was tentative, as it still had to have negotiations with the union there. The company said that the closing of the Lodi plant would eliminate excess cereal and dry mix from its supply chain.

General Mills has been tweaking its recipes and getting into new foods as it tries to satisfy an American palate heading in a new direction. It gave Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal a stronger cinnamon taste, removed aspartame sugar substitute from Yoplait Light and released a new line of Cheerios with added protein.

General Mills also announced in September that it plans to buy Annie's, the maker of rabbit-shaped organic mac and cheese, for $820 million. The deal is expected to close later this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.