12/23/2014 11:35 EST | Updated 02/22/2015 05:59 EST

Kellogg's employees say goodbye to London plant after 75 years

Kellogg's employees worked their last shift at the company's historic London plant Monday, after the company says poor cereal sales forced it to close the plant.

"This is my last day, my last hour, my last minute, it was a great ride," said Ed Matthews as he left the plant Monday. He had been working for Kellogg's on and off for 35 years. 

This week he gathered with his colleagues for a turkey dinner at the plant before saying goodbye. 

"People are being brave about the future," Matthews said.  "We're all in it together." 

 Gary Cornelis worked at Kellogg's for 28 years.  He said, the last few weeks were difficult.

"It's a sad day," Cornelis said.       

 The plant's closure puts 500 people out of work — and more than 300 lost their jobs in September. A job action centre was established for employees.

"The hope is to find anyone inquiring meaningful work," said Bob Martin, president of Local 154G of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union, which represents the workers there. 

The Kellogg's plant is the second major food processor to close up shop in Southwestern Ontario this year. Heinz ceased operations in Leamington in June, putting nearly 1,000 people out of work.