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General Mills Closing West Chicago Plant

()  General Mills officials told workers Thursday it planned to shutter its West Chicago manufacturing facility in the summer of 2017, affecting 500 employees including about 300 union workers.

The plant produces three major lines for the Minneapolis-based company, including Bugles snacks, General Mills cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Hamburger Helper products.

Workers were told at a 7:15 a.m. meeting that the closing, which will happen in stages, is a result of surplus created by changing consumer tastes away from so-called “ready-made” meals.

A spokeswoman for the company confirmed the planned shutdown.

Workers said they were told that at least one other plant closing announcement is expected from the company Thursday morning. After the meeting, workers were sent home and were told the plant would reopen Monday.

“We just negotiated a contract and it was very company-friendly,” said a worker at the plant who declined to be named. “We negotiated it and took some lumps to avoid this situation.”