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Monday, March 14th, 2005 -- 8:43 AM

Thanks to Wisconsin Ag Connection

Bad economic news for the community of Medford.

Their Kraft's Tombstone plant will lay off 70 employees by the end of the month after the company decided to change production shifts. The administrative staff in Medford announced the cuts to employees last week, said Cathy Pernu, spokeswoman for Kraft Foods.

Pernu cited "shift rebalancing" as the reason for the layoffs, which will be complete by March 31. The plant will change from operating 24 hours, six days a week to just five days a week. However, the bakery will continue round-the-clock production. The change in production will help Kraft better meet its volume needs and give employees a more typical 40-hour work week. Voluntary layoffs will be offered based on seniority. After that number is finalized, involuntary layoffs will be made from the least senior employees, she said.

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