Naacp To Boycott Campbell's

Posted: February 18, 1990

The Camden County branch of the NAACP has announced a boycott of Campbell Soup Co. products to protest the company's decision to close its Camden processing plant next month, costing nearly 900 jobs.

The Rev. William L. King, the group's president, said he would urge members and their supporters to not buy soup or other products sold by the company.

"This is in response to the imminent closing of the Camden plant and the apparent reneging of the company's plan to build world headquarters in Camden," King said in an interview Friday. "Their profits are up by 11 percent from last year, and yet in this depressed city, they can't put some of that money to work."

Campbell Soup Co. officials announced in August that they would close the red-brick, 94-year-old manufacturing plant on Camden's waterfront. Production is scheduled to end March 2.

In another potential blow to the depressed city's economy, Campbell's officials have said they are re-evaluating plans to build a $35 million world headquarters there. No decision has been announced.

Company spokesman James Moran said the company remained committed to the city and would keep substantial operations there.

"I don't know how anybody could question Campbell's commitment to Camden," he said yesterday. "We've been there 121 years. When the other companies were bailing out of Camden, Campbell's remained. We've pumped a lot of money into that city, and a lot of that went to the minority community."

In another matter, Moran said company officials reached a severance agreement yesterday with Local 80 of the United Food & Commercial Workers, which represents about 750 union workers who will lose their jobs. There are 135 non-union employees.

Moran declined to release details of the agreement. Union officials could not be reached for comment.

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