In early January, the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) announced a realignment of its distribution footprint and resulting change to the packaging department located at its Tillamook facility.
The realignment will allow TCCA to operate more efficiently, reduce the transportation costs associated with moving cheese between facilities before the final distribution to customers, and increase responsiveness to its growing customer base outside of the Northwest. Unfortunately, this decision means the reduction of the number of packaging positions at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
TCCA presented a creative severance package, which was agreed to by Teamsters Local 58, and will be made available to the 47 affected employees.
“We are aware of the difficulties our employees will experience as a result of this change and have created a quality severance package that will allow our people to choose what best meets their personal needs,” said Harold Strunk, TCCA president and CEO. “We also are coordinating with local agencies to provide important resources to assist them during their transition.”
As a part of the transitional services agreement, TCCA will be coordinating various displacement services for the employees which are not required by the agreement. Those details were recently shared with members of the packaging department.
In addition to the severance packages, the Association is making available several employment resources. TCCA has arranged with WorkSource Oregon to provide training such as resume writing, computer skills and interview skills. On-site visits with pension and medical plan administrators are being scheduled for impacted employees to discuss their pension and health insurance options. Additionally, TCCA is partnering with the Tillamook Bay Community College to offer classes for employees who are considering a change in their career path.
“The severance package offerings and transition services were arrived at and mutually agreed upon in an efficient, structured and professional manner,” said Walter LaChapelle, Teamsters Local 58 business representative. “The designed structure of this transitional plan will help our affected members who experience displacement from this process.” John Silva, Teamsters Local 58 secretary-treasurer agreed, adding “Union negotiators believe the overall offering of the available severance to these employees and members of our Union is substantial under the circumstance.” The process, which was guided by the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, has been completed and TCCA’s affected employees have been notified.
TCCA’s cheesemaking operations are not impacted by this packaging and distribution change. All of the cheese currently made in Oregon will continue to be made in Oregon. Additionally, visitors will still be able to watch the action of cheesemaking and packaging as TCCA remains committed to providing its visitors at the Tillamook Cheese Factory with the experiences they expect and desire.
Tillamook, Ore., will always be the home of TCCA and Tillamook Cheese. The Association remains a committed member of the Tillamook community. The change in operations is an opportunity to invest in the future of TCCA to ensure its longevity, as well as the success and longevity of the farmer-owners and the Tillamook community.
Please feel free to Contact Us or email us at info@Tillamook.com for more information.