DUNKIRK, N.Y. -- Hundreds of workers in Chautauqua County are receiving big news from one of the region's biggest employers Wednesday.
ConAgra confirmed Wednesday morning that 425 employees will be without a job after it closes two food plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia by early next year.
Union leaders at SEIU Local-266 say they were blindsided with the news Tuesday night. They were told layoffs at the Carriage House plants will be done by department and should be finished by next February.
The Dunkirk plant makes syrups, pourables and spoonable dressings.
A ConAgra spokesperson says production lines are expected to be moved to other plants in Kentucky, Georgia and Illinois. He said the move will allow the company to operate "more effectively and efficiently."
ConAgra bought the facilities as part of its nearly $5 billion purchase of Ralcorp in November 2012. It then laid off more than 100 workers at two plants early last year.
Union leadership tells us it's doing everything it can to try to stop the closure from happening, including reaching out to federal and county representatives for help.