Iconic Coffee Factory in Houston to Shut Down

You may remember the strike at Maximus Coffee Group in Houston in 2013. Late last week, we learned the remaining 279 union employees at what was once a landmark Maxwell House plant are soon going to be out of work.

Sadly, the coffee processing business in the U.S. has gone the way of many other lines of manufacturing. 

 The Texas AFL-CIO stood in solidarity with workers at the plant in the Second Ward when they walked off their jobs to protest company proposals to cut pay by nearly half, eliminate a 401(k) match and increase the cost of health care by 30 percent.

Following the strike, the Maximum Coffee Group became Atlantic Coffee Solutions.

 The Houston Chronicle reports the company will commence layoffs on June 12:

 Atlantic Coffee Solutions is going out of business and shuttering the former Maxwell House factory, one of the largest coffee manufacturing plants in the world.

 The Houston-based company will cease roasting and packaging regular, decaf and instant coffee at its massive factory east of downtown this summer, according to company officials. 

About 279 employees will be affected by the closure. Layoffs will start on June 12, according to a letter the company sent to the Texas Workforce Commission. 

A company spokeswoman confirmed the impending closure. 

"The coffee industry has changed dramatically in recent years and low cost products from other countries have created substantial economic challenges for the company," the company said in a statement. "This decision was made after considering multiple options."... 

In 2006, Maximus Coffee acquired the plant and shortly thereafter, removed the iconic Maxwell House sign. In 2014, the company was rebranded to Atlantic Coffee Solutions after a labor strike the year before. 

Atlantic Coffee Solutions is currently wholly-owned by Texas-based Ecom Altantic, an affiliate of Switzerland-based Ecom Agroindustrial, one of the largest coffee merchants and millers in the world.

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