Houweling’s Tomatoes, an indoor tomato and cucumber grower based in Camarillo, will lay off nearly 500 employees and will cease operations by the end of September, according to a notice filed with the state of California and county of Ventura.
California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN, requires companies to notify state and local governments of plant closures and mass layoffs. Houweling’s filed its WARN act notice on June 7 and said it will be vacating its greenhouse facility at 645 Laguna Road in Camarillo by Sept. 30 as part of a sale agreement with the new owner. The company did not disclose the identity of the new owner.
As a result of the closure, Houweling’s expects to permanently lay off 486 workers at the facility, the majority of whom work in the greenhouse.
The layoffs will begin Aug. 8, according to the filing, and Houweling’s said it expects most or all of the employees to be laid off by Sept. 30.
Houweling’s opened its Camarillo greenhouse in 1996 and has expanded it from 20 acres to 125 acres since then. The company also has greenhouses in Utah and British Columbia. Its WARN filing regarding the closure of the Camarillo facility says that no union represents the affected employees, and no one has “bumping rights” to replace a less-senior employee at another location.