Ultra Foods to eliminate 139 American jobs in Highland

Ultra Foods to lay off 139 workers in Highland

Nearly 140 workers at the Highland Ultra Foods will lose their jobs when the discount supermarket is closed in September after no one stepped forward to buy it out of bankruptcy.

Joliet-based Central Grocers is closing Ultra Foods stores in Highland and Kankakee, Illinois, two of the assets it has been trying to sell since December, after an attempt to auction them off in federal bankruptcy court failed. The company sent a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN, notice to the state of Indiana saying it would lay off 139 workers at the discount grocery store at 8401 Indianapolis Blvd., which opened in 1981 as the flagship Ultra.

Laid-off workers include 67 clerks, 21 utility clerks, 18 deli/seafood clerks, 10 bakery clerks, four meat wrappers and three salaried employees.

More than 2,000 workers have lost their jobs since the century-old Central Grocers went into bankruptcy in May after racking up more than $225 million in debt and failing to pay creditors like Mars, Coca-Cola and General Mills, who sued to push it into bankruptcy.

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