- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DUNKIRK, N.Y. (AP) - ConAgra Foods says it plans to close two plants in western New York by early next year, a move that would put more than 400 people out of work.

Company officials tell media outlets the plants in the neighboring Chautauqua (shuh-TAW’-kwuh) County communities of Dunkirk and Fredonia will be closed by February.

Representatives with Service Employees International Union Local 266 say the two plants employ about 425 workers, who were being told Wednesday about the impending shutdowns.

Food production lines are expected to be moved to other locations, including Buckner, Ky.

A company spokesman says the closings, scheduled to start this summer, will allow ConAgra to operate more efficiently.

The Omaha, Neb.-based company bought the two plants as part of its nearly $5 billion purchase of Ralcorp in November 2012.

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