FREMONT, Mich. - Fifty hourly employees will be let go on their positions at the Gerber plant in Fremont.

A Gerber spokesperson confirmed to 13 ON YOUR SIDE that the layoffs are a results of the company decommissioning the "3rd foods" production line. "3rd food" are meals with small pieces of food incorporated in them to help babies transition into eating table foods.

The last day of work for people on the production line is November 16.

Below is a statement from Gerber on the changes:

As we continue to navigate the challenges of an increasingly competitive market, Gerber is transforming our business to become more agile, efficient and innovative. This strategy enables us to enhance our competitiveness for the long-term.

As part of this transformation, we have reviewed the composition and performance our product portfolio. After a full and thorough evaluation, it is clear that consumer preferences are changing and changing quickly. We must be responsive to the needs of parents and caregivers and this is why we have made the decision to evolve the “3rd foods" business (which are meals with small pieces of food that help babies transition to table foods).

This difficult but necessary decision will result in us decommissioning our “3rd foods” production line. Unfortunately, this will impact approximately 50 production hourly employees at our factory in Fremont. We are projecting the last day worked to be November 16th, however, the timing is subject to change based on business needs. We are working closely with the union that represents employees at the factory to ensure the process is managed according to our collective bargaining agreement. As always, we will treat our people with fairness and respect and will ensure that each impacted employee is appropriately supported throughout the transition.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect the correct number of people laid off. Gerber initially provided the wrong information.

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