Niagara Bottling announces dozens of hires in Bloomfield - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Niagara Bottling announces dozens of hires in Bloomfield

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Construction from other the summer at the Niagara Bottling plant in Bloomfield. (WFSB file photo) Construction from other the summer at the Niagara Bottling plant in Bloomfield. (WFSB file photo)

A controversial bottling plant that set up shop in Bloomfield has announced that it hired dozens of workers.

California-based Niagara Bottling said on Wednesday that hit hired 66 people to date for the Bloomfield facility on Woodland Avenue.

It said it received 600 applications for positions, which range from materials handlers to mechanical technicians.

“We are very excited to be opening our Bloomfield bottling operation and are pleased to have such a well-qualified and reliable staff in place," said Lloyd Lirio, plant director for Niagara Bottling in Bloomfield. "We expect to be part of the Bloomfield business community for a long time to come, and starting with such a fine employee base is essential to us."

Lirio said the company was very encouraged by the overwhelming interest in its manufacturing jobs, and it looks forward to growing those hires to more than 80 people by January.

“With the Niagara Bottling jobs starting at a minimum of $15 an hour, the response to them was unprecedented, indicating the tremendous need for good manufacturing jobs in this region,” said Alex Johnson, president and CEO of Capital Workforce Partners.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Niagara officials said "of the 102 construction bids which came in, 83 of them (81%) were from local companies, and of the 20 bids which were awarded, 16 of them (80%) were from local companies.”

Last winter, residents of Bloomfield spoke out against the construction of the bottling facility.

They argued against the company drawing from the public water supply at a discounted rate.

Bloomfield officials told Eyewitness News back in February that the town gave Niagara Bottling a tax abatement of more than $4 million to build the factory.

Niagara Bottling said it would only be using 2 percent of the daily water supply.

Over the summer, dozens more protested working conditions at construction site.

The Building Trades Affiliates and Save Our Water groups demonstrated in June at the plant. The argued that rates and benefits handed out by Niagara Bottling were below industry standards. They also claimed the company brought in out-of-state workers.

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