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Kraft Workers Worry About New Boss

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Workers at the Kraft Foods back office in Hanover Township have a tradition of  loyalty and pride. Some have been in the same jobs since they were working for Nabisco.

When they learned that most of the 350 employees at their facility would soon be working for a contractor, Genpact, instead of the household name they were familiar with, they were concerned.

That worry turned to panic for some, when a Genpact bid form became public.

The form revealed a plan by Genpact to move some of the Kraft operations to the company’s facilities in India in 2015.

However a spokesperson for Genpact said that does not mean fewer local jobs.

An e-mail to Newswatch 16 said, “If Genpact decided to move work to another location, that doesn’t necessarily mean a loss in jobs. We have a growing business in Wilkes-Barre and across the U.S. that offers significant opportunities across hundreds of clients.”

A company spokesperson pointed to planned renovations at the facility on New Commerce Boulevard in anticipation of employing up to 600 people.

Spokesperson Gail Medford said, “Genpact is making a considerable investment to both renovate and significantly expand our Wilkes-Barre facility. We are adding capacity to accommodate the Kraft employees who will be joining Genpact and because we anticipate future growth.  We are making renovations as part of a long-term investment in our Wilkes-Barre business.”

The company said except for a management team, it will offer work to the rest of the 350 people who currently work for Kraft.

However, several workers spoke to Newswatch 16 about their concerns.

The two women asked us to conceal their identities because they were told they were not allowed to speak to reporters.

They shared a number of concerns including benefits, work environment, and the loss of an employer they considered to be a cornerstone of the Wyoming Valley.

One said, “I don’t want to work for Genpact, I signed up for Kraft Foods 17 years ago, that is where I planned to retire.”

She said that Genpact does not offer the same vacation perks or retirement plan.

Another worker said she had been told that if workers do not accept job offers from Genpact, they will not be eligible for unemployment.

Despite that, the women expect that a significant number of the workers will not opt to work for Genpact.

The women pointed to a transition they said has been bungled, creating mistrust among the Kraft workforce.

“There were managers outside crying and apologizing to the employees for lying to them. Because they didn’t know they were lying to us, they were told to boost us up to go to Genpact.”

The women said for decades Kraft represented one of the best opportunities for a good wage in Luzerne County and wondered what the future holds.

Andy Reilly is executive director for the Luzerne County Office of Community Development.

“Everyone, the county, the Commonwealth, businesses, workers, are all attempting to understand the global economic reality, some of that involves new jobs going overseas, some of that involves new jobs coming here,” Reilly said.

The Genpact spokesperson said the upside is that their company is growing and that represents opportunity.

22 comments

  • Tiffany West

    I started with Genpact a few months before they entered the New York stock exchange in 07. It was cake for everyone and within the next few months, the entire HR staff quit both at the Hanover Township industrial park and in Parsippany NJ. The WB facility is a ” front” and this is where they give perspective companies a tour of how business is done. Genpact ” wines & dines” out of town exs with platters from the Empire Deli, Frank’s Pizza and Panera Bread, dinners at Isabella’ s in Plains,and hotel stays at Hampton Inn. Genpact really knows how to splurge ! :) . After they land the contracts, Genpact will have a project manager from India ” shadow” the US manager and employees. Once the manage from India “learns” the job, the project goes to India and the employees are surprised with a layoff. The kicker is, once the projects go to India, the US managers are on daily conference calls from the frantic India staff, who have botched up the project. I quit Genpact because there is no security working with a global out sourcing firm.

  • someoneinformed

    As a former employee of Kraft AND Genpact, I must state, that Genpact is an unethical company. Kraft treated me fairly even though I have since moved on from there 5 years ago. Genpact however, over promises and under delivers, and Kraft will find this out. The only company that Genpact cares about satisfaction for is GE. And that is because GE made a vested interest in their operations. All of Genpacts other clients ussally pull out with-in 5 years. (at least from the Wilkes-barre offices.)

    • Happy Genpacter!!

      Another uninformed sheep makIng invalid statements. There are quite a few companies in ABOUT that have been there for 5 years. Some relationships work and some don’t. Thats how it is in all business ventures.

    • Tiffany West

      I started with Genpact a few months before they entered the New York stock exchange in 07. It was cake for everyone and within the next few months, the entire HR staff quit both at the Hanover Township industrial park and in Parsippany NJ. The WB facility is a ” front” and this is where they give perspective companies a tour of how business is done. Genpact ” wines & dines” out of town exs with platters from the Empire Deli, Frank’s Pizza and Panera Bread, dinners at Isabella’ s in Plains,and hotel stays at Hampton Inn. Genpact really knows how to splurge ! :) . After they land the contracts, Genpact will have a project manager from India ” shadow” the US manager and employees. Once the manage from India “learns” the job, the project goes to India and the employees are surprised with a layoff. The kicker is, once the projects go to India, the US managers are on daily conference calls from the frantic India staff, who have botched up the project. I quit Genpact because there is no security working with a global out sourcing firm.

  • Happy Genpacter!!

    You are all acting like a bunch of sheep being herded by the ignorant masses. To the person who refers to operations in Danville…you LITERALLY have all of your facts wrong. ALL of them. Additionally, the only people who need to worry about their jobs are the ones who have been getting paid to be lazy and incompetent. Your comments are uninformed and uneducated. Please, do the rest of us a favor…stop pretending you know ANYTHING about Genpact. Because clearly none of you do. This company has been adding jobs to this area for years. It invests time and money into it’s high potential employees. You either have what it takes and you’re successful…or you don’t have what it takes and you work somewhere else. Period!! Get your facts straight SHEEP! I

  • dowhat?

    Since most have stated that you want jobs to stop being outsourced, you want the current employer and new employer to stop lying to you. The American workers are getting the shaft….etc.

    So what are you going to do? How are you going to stand up and make a difference? How are you going to be the change? Talk is cheap.

  • pou

    Genpact has done this before. Two years ago it was the accounting employees of Walgreens in Danville, Illinois. Within the first year, the jobs were all shipped to India. Ask the affected employees where they are working now. Genpact just laid off employees in Richardson Texas for lack of work a year after hiring them.

  • ME

    What is happening here, is a good reason why unions are needed more. Keep track and document everything that is going on, then sue the heck out of Kraft, if you lose your jobs or jobs are outsourced.
    In the meantime, I just threw out the mac and cheese my hubby likes to snack on.

  • ME

    Listening and reading about this “global” thing made me sick! It is just a way to stick it to the American worker. Let India and the rest of the world, create their own jobs. What kind of policy takes away jobs from their own country? As long as Americans don’t demand better, this type of thing will be commonplace.

  • GJones

    History shows that big business never does the right thing. Moving operations to India absolutely means that they plan to phase out their American workforce so they can pay foreign children a few cents a day to do factory work in unregulated, unsafe conditions. It may not be tomorrow, but you’ll see it in a few years when everyone has forgotten. Then when someone calls them out again, they’ll vomit out a prepared statement about how “times are changing” and they “need to focus on keeping the product affordable to the American people”… aka: more profits for the execs.

  • Scott Q.

    This happens all the time…. Management get all sort of bonuses and perks to keep employees quiet during these transitions… it’s the worker that gets the shaft. This is still happening in America today… it caused the crash of our economy… banks and big corporations dismantling America for a profit. Wake up people, wake up before it’s too late and they take your country, and what you earned/have from you leave you empty handed… they don’t care about you. It’s the all mighty dollar. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. You see it all over the news and you gasp in horror, but when it happens out you back door, you don’t see it coming, of course, until it’s too late… the workers need to take this to you government… and th media… make a big stink about it… show how “UN-American” this is… shame them, make them reel with their “public relations” people. Show them how you’ve busted your backs to make a company successful, and then you get cast out with the garbage because they can make a fast check. Where is the honor, where is the patriotism, where is the common decency? FIGHT BACK I SAY!!!

    • ME

      We think alike, Scott. Workers should sue, too, if they lose their jobs. Time for American workers to fight. On the other hand, maybe would should let companies like Kraft fade away and go overseas. American workers could probably start their own companies and do a much better job because they would be working for themselves.

  • JK

    From experience I can tell these workers that things don’t get better. These “crampanies” (as i call them) ideal number of employees is zero employees. NO overhead. Just 100% profit for themselves. When contractors come in…you may as well say outsourcing…it’s to “boost productivity” and “align our business with it’s core values” or whatever corporate jargon bs is supposed to sound good. What always happens is people get laid off and those that are “lucky” enough to remain (if the place doesn’t close within a few months or get sold again) get the blank beat out of them on a daily basis to meet some goal that is realistic only in the land of unicorns and flying pigs.

  • Joe Smith

    We are grateful to have a job, but we are “whining” about the fact that we are being lied to day after day. We are also expected not to question our job security and act as “business as usual” as they continue to feed us lies until the day they’re done USING us for out Kraft knowledge & are all set to ship our jobs to India.

  • Jay

    Kraft is not the company that it once was. As a former employee that received manufactured performance reviews that ultimately led to my dismissal its part of their new regime. No sour grapes here….I quickly found employment and the difference is night and day. Poor HR management and weak leadership without any integrity have become the trademark of their future direction. Look at the actions of a Company and you’ll know it character or lack thereof. It will be tough, however, this Company is done with Wyoming Valley. Time to move on. Don’t buy any more of their products….

    • Joe Smith

      We are grateful to have a job, but we are “whining” about the fact that we are being lied to day after day. We are also expected not to question our job security and act as “business as usual” as they continue to feed us lies until the day they’re done USING us for our Kraft knowledge & are all set to ship our jobs to India.

    • ME

      You should stop writing dumb comments and wake up to what is happening to the American worker. It is people like you, who will accept less and not rock the boat, that allows this type of thing to happen in the first place.

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