Procter & Gamble has begun phasing out workers in its powdered-detergent operations and expects to have more than half of that workforce moved by September.
About 160 jobs will be cut from the Augusta plant on Mike Padgett Highway within the next year as the company is moving its dry-detergent operations to Alexandria, La., P&G spokesman Jeff LeRoy said.
Nearly 40 employees will have left the facility by late June, with a total of 90 workers anticipated to transition out by September. The remaining 70 employees will trickle out of the Augusta plant in the following months, LeRoy said.
The process is expected to be complete in 2014.
In November, employees were notified of the pending job eliminations and all were offered jobs at another P&G facility.
“It looks like right now about half of the employees that will not be staying at the facility are transferring to another plant somewhere in the United States,” LeRoy said.
Most of those employees chose to relocate to the Alexandria facility or a plant in Lima, Ohio, LeRoy said. Both sites make liquid detergent.
The company paid moving expenses, LeRoy said.
About 40 employees chose either to leave the company or accept an early retirement that varies in amount based on an employee’s tenure, LeRoy said.
Ten percent of the workers are still deciding their next step, he said.
The Augusta facility, which will manufacture dryer bars, will continue to employ about 100 contractors, LeRoy said.
P&G began its detergent operations in Augusta in 1962. The company continued to add local positions as recently as 2009, when it employed 240 workers and 360 contract employees. Two production lines and 150 jobs were added to the plant that year.
The Augusta plant manufactured powder versions of Tide, Cheer, Draft, Ivory Snow and Gain laundry detergents.
P&G has been looking to reduce its global workforce for the past year and a half, with a large number of employees opting for an early retirement, LeRoy said.
LeRoy said P&G doesn’t disclose how much the job cuts are expected to save the company.
There are more than 30 P&G facilities in the United States that employee about 15,000 manufacturing workers, he said.