Procter & Gamble unveils plans to cut 215 jobs from its Gillette factory in South Boston over five years
By Jon Chesto
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 07, 2008 @ 09:14 AM
Procter & Gamble is continuing to trim its work force in Massachusetts with a plan to cut 215 jobs at its main Gillette plant in South Boston by mid-2013.
Kelly Vanasse, director of external relations for Gillette, said the company expects most, if not all, of the jobs will be eliminated through attrition, early retirements and voluntary buyouts.
Vanasse said the company is shifting the manufacturing of its Mach3 and older kinds of Venus cartridges and razor handles to other plants, such as those in Poland and Mexico.
The company will continue to make Gillette Fusion and Venus Embrace products at the South Boston factory. Vanasse said the company will also continue making individual blades for a range of its shaving products – including the Mach3, Venus and Fusion lines – in South Boston.
P&G will still use the South Boston factory, along with one in Berlin, Germany, as a “flagship site” to develop and launch its newest shaving products, Vanasse said.
P&G has steadily shaved jobs from its payroll in Massachusetts since the Cincinnati-based conglomerate bought Gillette in the fall of 2005. At the time of the acquisition, nearly 4,000 people worked for Gillette in the state. By early 2007, that number had dropped to about 3,000.
Vanasse said P&G currently employs about 2,400 people in the state. She declined to provide a breakdown of how many people work at the company’s various locations. She said those locations include the Prudential Tower in Boston’s Back Bay, the South Boston campus, plants in Needham and Andover, and a Quincy sales office.
The company is also cutting jobs at one of its contractors by closing a Gillette warehouse at the former Fort Devens. Vanasse said P&G plans to close the warehouse – which is operated by Sonoco – in the next two years. About 50 to 60 of those jobs will move to P&G’s Andover site, while the remaining work will be shifted to a Mexican plant.
Vanasse said P&G remains committed to the sprawling, 1.6 million-square-foot South Boston campus, which overlooks the southern end of the Fort Point Channel. The company is in the midst of a $50 million project to prepare the site for a move in October 2009 of the corporate jobs in the Pru tower to South Boston.
The company also revealed on Wednesday that it would spend $35 million to build a new gas-fired turbine during the next two years to complement a steam-fired turbine at the South Boston site. Once the second turbine is complete, Vanasse said the South Boston plant will be able to operate independently without electricity from the region’s power grid.