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UNION VOWS FIGHT TO SAVE WHITMAN'S CHOCOLATES

 PHILADELPHIA, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Joseph T. Rauscher, president of Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers, Local 6, announced that his union was preparing to go to court to gain a temporary injunction stopping the sale of the Whitman's Chocolates trademark to the Russell Stover Candy Co.
 The sale was announced today by Whitman's parent company, PET Incorporated (NYSE: PT) of St. Louis.
 "This sale will eliminate nearly 600 jobs here in Philadelphia," announced Rauscher, "and the only gain will be that the Russell Stover Company will have eliminated its last national competitor in the box candy business."
 In a letter to the union, PET announced that the Whitman's plant would be shut down permanently by mid-June 1993.
 Rauscher was angered by the sale because the union had been working with a group of private investors, which included candy company executives, to buy the Whitman plant and continue producing candy in the Northeast Philadelphia plant.
 "We knew that PET wanted to sell Whitman's and that's OK, but we wanted it sold to someone who would keep the 600 people working there now, on the job making the world-famous Whitman's Chocolates," declared Rauscher. "The people working there were even willing to become part owners to keep the company going."
 The union is holding a membership meeting for the Whitman's workers at 4:30 p.m., today at the union hall, 5416 Rising Sun Ave., Philadelphia.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: H.J. Cain of Beorn Communications, 215-329-8833, for the Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers, Local 6/


CO: Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers, Local 6; Whitman's
 Chocolates; Russell Stover Candy Co.; PET Incorporated ST: Pennsylvania, Missouri IN: FOD SU: TNM


MJ-LJ -- PH024 -- 4088 03/08/93 14:12 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 8, 1993
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