UPDATE 2-Canadian meat packer Maple Leaf to cut 400 manager jobs

Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:47am EST
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(Adds company comments, share movement)

By Anet Josline Pinto and Rod Nickel

Nov 25 (Reuters) - Maple Leaf Foods Inc said on Wednesday it would cut 400 management jobs, or about 3 percent of its workforce, saying it was ready to streamline operations after starting up Canada's biggest meat plant.

Maple Leaf, one of the country's biggest pork processors, said the majority of the job cuts would be completed by the end of 2015 and the rest in 2016.

Nearly half of the positions are based in the Mississauga, Ontario, head office, said spokesman Dave Bauer. Sixty-four are based at the new Hamilton, Ontario meat plant, where analysts noted excess staff and supervisors during a recent tour, and the rest of the job cuts are scattered across Canada.

Senior management, led by Chief Executive Michael McCain, remains intact, Bauer said.

Maple Leaf shares rose 0.9 percent to C$21.39 in Toronto, briefly touching a nearly four-week high.

Maple Leaf rolled out a program in 2010 to boost earnings by shutting some plants and modernizing others, and the company has struggled to be profitable during that period.

Its third-quarter profit was only its second in the past 11 quarters, and was slightly smaller than expected as the company flagged inefficiencies in starting new plants.   Continued...