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Procter & Gamble moving 160 jobs from Augusta

Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 12:31 PM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 2:53 AM
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Procter & Gamble, one of Augusta’s oldest industries, is moving its powdered-detergent operations to a facility in Louisiana and will eliminate 160 local jobs over the next 12 to 18 months.

This 2009 photo shows plant manufacturing more detergent, such as bagged versions of Gain and Ariel targeted to Hispanic buyers.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
This 2009 photo shows plant manufacturing more detergent, such as bagged versions of Gain and Ariel targeted to Hispanic buyers.

Employees at the Mike Padgett Highway plant have been briefed on the transition, and many will be offered jobs at other Procter & Gamble sites around the nation, plant manager Marian Futrell said at a news conference Friday.

The Augusta plant will remain in operation as a manufacturer of dryer bars, a process that will require about 40 employees. Employees who wish to stay in Augusta will be able to apply for those positions, according to Kristen Soler, the site’s human resources leader.

The phasing-out of the detergent-powder operations in Augusta is part of a move to center that process at a plant in Alexandria, La., which will add about 50 jobs. That plant already makes liquid detergent, along with a facility in Lima, Ohio.

“I am pleased to share that we are able to offer transfer opportunities for every one of our employees to another P&G facility in North America,” Futrell said.

Displaced employees who wish to accept positions in Louisiana or other P&G sites will be offered transfer and moving assistance, company officials said.

The company has identified enough jobs in other areas to accommodate all local workers who wish to move and might have opportunities for spouses, too, Futrell said. Those who do not want to leave Augusta will be offered severance and retirement packages.

Soler said the plant employs about 100 contractors who provide a variety of services. She said at this point none of those jobs are going to be affected by the reorganization.

Futrell said P&G is looking at the possibility of bringing new products and more manufacturing to the plant in the future, but she declined to provide details Friday.

Augusta’s P&G detergent operations began in 1962 in negotiations with city leaders working to recruit new industry. Soon after, the company bought 240 acres to build the first synthetic-detergent manufacturing plant in the Southeast.

The plant went into production in February 1963, becoming one of the first residents of the “Miracle Mile” industrial district along Mike Padg­ett and Marvin Griffin Road.

As recently as 2009, the company was still adding jobs to the facility and employed 240 workers and 360 contract workers.

That year, 150 jobs and two production lines were added to the plant, which at the time was the only place making
the new Bounce Dryer Bar.

For much of its tenure, the plant has focused on making powder versions of Tide, Cheer, Draft, Ivory Snow and Gain laundry detergents.

Walter Sprouse, the executive director of the Augusta Eco­nomic Development Au­thor­­ity, said P&G’s decision was driven by declining market demand.

“There’s obviously no secret that the market share of powder detergent has gone down steadily for a number of years,” he said.

Those market signs pointed toward an eventual consolidation of operations for years, Sprouse said. The development authority tried to bring the consolidation of operations to Augusta, but the Loui­siana plant has newer equipment and facilities, he said.

Procter & Gamble brought new product lines to the Augusta plant several years ago in an effort to compensate for the declining market share of powder detergent, Sprouse said.

“It’s important to note they are not closing the facility,” he said.

The economic impact of the job losses depends on factors such as the number of employees who retire, find other local jobs or transfer out of the city, Sprouse said. Some might find new work when Starbucks Cof­fee Co. and Rockwood Color and Pig­ment Services begin hiring for their new plants, he said.

Staff Writer Meg Mirshak contributed to this article.

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dichotomy
32977
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dichotomy 11/09/12 - 10:26 pm
8
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specsta...."We need more

specsta...."We need more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses"

Fat chance that is going to happen during an Obama/Democrat "tax the rich", "tax capital gains", more regulation, the banks won't lend money administration. Why would ANYONE risk their money starting a business while the communists are in charge? Democrats are great with birth control pills but they don't understans doodly squat about business and the economy.

KSL
129716
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KSL 11/09/12 - 10:27 pm
6
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Don't know why the Dems would

Don't know why the Dems would want to rule over a dying middle class and the wealthy who will move their wealth offshore. However they fund the ever increasing numbers expecting the government handouts.

Now, I do feel my husband and I are entitled to our SS paid in plus reasonable interest. Had we had that money all along, despite the ups and downs of investment returns we would be looking at far more than we will ever get from SS. In addition current and future earned income taxpayers would not resent us.

KSL
129716
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KSL 11/09/12 - 10:32 pm
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specsta

Do you have any idea of how many small businesses that fail within several years of startup in way more prosperous times than Obama has managed to make worse than they were?

allhans
23651
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allhans 11/09/12 - 11:14 pm
5
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Complaints regarding

Complaints regarding SS..Really? How about all the children who get SSI checks, the disabled who get disability for years.

Somehow I get the idea that there are those who think that only seniors get SS.
If more folks knew just who and how many are drawing from the SS fund, the outcry would be heard all the way to the "down under".

burninater
9583
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burninater 11/09/12 - 11:50 pm
0
8
Are there SERIOUSLY posters

Are there SERIOUSLY posters trying to link the decline in demand for powdered detergent with Obama's reelection? It seems that Romney's loss has removed from some the ability to think.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 11/10/12 - 07:31 am
1
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Side question & food for thought

Georgia passed a tax exemption for Ga. base Manufactures recently.
What happened, did not seem to help in this case?

=================

I agree PP&G has more or less signaled it plans to exit Augusta over the coming years.

Any Commissioner, with some long sighted vision, would be forming a group to seek out a replacement.

dichotomy
32977
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dichotomy 11/10/12 - 08:44 am
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burninator........"Are there

burninator........"Are there SERIOUSLY posters trying to link the decline in demand for powdered detergent with Obama's reelection"

Demand for powdered detergent declined years ago. But there is STILL a demand for it and P&G is still making it....only now it will all be made in Lousiana . We are just say that their decision to do this now, this week, kind of like Petraeus resigning days before he was to testify on Benghazi, the timing appears suspiciously related to Obama being re-elected and his anti-business policies. I'm kind of like Gibbs on NCIS....I don't believe in coincidence.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 11/10/12 - 09:57 am
1
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Sorry to bust your IMHO bubble....
Unpublished

When P&G Augusta started up in the winter of 1962 making dry laundry detergents there were 12 other P&G plants in the USA making Tide, Cheer, Oxydol, etc. Alexandria LA plant is the newest by several years of all of these facilities, IN THINK 1968.

P&G has systematically over the last 50 years closed dry laundry plants and shifted production to liquid laundry production. Market driven on several levels. Ease of usage, measuring, front load machines, production costs, hard water (not as southern issue), fabric changes, no one gets there clothes soiled with dirt and Georgia Red clay.

By 1996 there were only two left in the USA. All of the west was supplied by a super plant twice the size of Augusta in Mexico City Mexico that 24/7/365. The Augusta Plant supplied the eastern USA. Alexandria ran experimental production and provided a backup for product flow. The one plant in Canada was changed over to sheet products. Liquid laundry was center in Lima OH. Products were imported from Europe where by then P&G made more profit.

P&G is a very business savy global corporation that does not manufacturer non profitable brands. Each brand division is separately competing for profits. P&G is not in existent to provide jobs. I bet Augusta did not know than. LOL P&G treats its employees very well. But they are just one piece of the business. Corporate leadership demands that business growth must met or exceed a goal of doubling every ten years. P&G history verifies this commitment. Two for one stock splits are heavy manufacturing records.

Alexandria LA is almost a carbon copy of Augusta. Pineville LA the location of the plant is across the Red River from Alexandria. A bedroom community, per say. Similar in rural background employees. Non union. Loyal employees who view P&G as a champion in a financially strapped economy. The only other major employer was a military base which closed after the plant opened. Much of their "broad street" was a ghost town. A P&G company town for sure. Much more so that Augusta.

This is nothing new. There have been at least three of these "downsizing/outsourcing early retirement package programs over the last 15 years. P&G will raise that facility, plow up the soil and plant rye grass. They did it with bleach plant facility in the 1980's. That is how they resolve closures. No rusting skeletons. No, Didn't that used to be a P&G plant?

It is not a moral issue. As Don Corleone said, Its just business. P&G is great at business. Ask any retiree. Ask any stockholder. Ask any CEO with stock options.

We were wondering what kind of celebration we would have for our "Golden Anniversary" in Augusta. SURPRISE SURPRISE.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 11/10/12 - 10:00 am
0
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Like the active military...
Unpublished

who cannot tell the whole truth. But a retiree can tell the truth. They know all of the old war stories. They remember. And to help they gave us a 30 year video cassette presentation of the history. COOL

Little Lamb
46022
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Little Lamb 11/10/12 - 10:16 am
3
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Replacement

Sorry, OpenCurtain, but our commission is busy subsidizing Marriott management and giving tax breaks for other hotels downtown. They're not interested in factories. Factories are so passè. Hotels is where the glamour lies.

burninater
9583
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 11:02 am
1
1
But there is STILL a demand

But there is STILL a demand for it and P&G is still making it....only now it will all be made in Lousiana . We are just say that their decision to do this now, this week, kind of like Petraeus resigning days before he was to testify on Benghazi, the timing appears suspiciously related to Obama being re-elected and his anti-business policies.
--------
So let me see if I understand this. The detergent is still being made, but in a consolidated facility in Louisiana. P&G says they are aren't cutting any jobs, but moving them out of Augusta. And somehow this is because Obama was reelected. A company is laying off no one? In response to an "anti-business" president? People have seriously simply stopped making any sense whatsoever.

Oh, and please note that by "anti-business", we're talking about the highest corporate profits under any president in history. Can't get much more "anti-business" than that!

burninater
9583
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 11:08 am
0
1
OC and LL are at least

OC and LL are at least keeping their heads in the game. The rest blaming Obama, well, I understand it is much easier than thinking about what Augusta, and Georgia, did to lose these jobs.

allhans
23651
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allhans 11/10/12 - 12:41 pm
1
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Reducing personnel from the

Reducing personnel from the local plant to below 50...the magic number, huh?

Fiat_Lux
15428
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Fiat_Lux 11/10/12 - 01:10 pm
1
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Burninator, kindly read Allhans' 11:41 today comment

I would have thought you, above almost anyone else, would have picked up on that as the motivation for "relocating" 160 jobs out of Augusta and leaving only 40.

Perhaps the CEO and other execs decided some time back that if Obummer won, they really weren't interested in supporting or being part of a community the majority of which would so happily bite the hands that feeds them, including P&G.

Augustans, especially those who are smart enough to hold a job yet applaud funding the ObamaNation Plantations, had better wake up. It may already be too late, but maybe they will find they like being part of the middle class more than they like the idea of funding the indolent and the predatory of all stripes.

Fiat_Lux
15428
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/10/12 - 01:25 pm
1
0
I also agree that Richmond Co. is a bit part of the problem,

but I suspect the "Obama 2nd Term Fallback Plan" was set to happen regardless of whom the idiots of Richmond County elected as sheriff or to the county commission.

scorehouse
196
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scorehouse 11/10/12 - 01:40 pm
0
0
biz iz biz
Unpublished

the article states this is an efficiency move. alos, being alot closer to lousiana and texas chem plants, feedstock should be cheaper. they state powdered detergent use is down? there's 100 million more people than when the plant was bulit. i guess all these immigrants don't use powdered laundry detergent?

Gage Creed
17228
Points
Gage Creed 11/10/12 - 09:43 pm
1
0
Hotels and mixed use

Hotels and mixed use facilities....that's the ticket!

corgimom
32500
Points
corgimom 11/12/12 - 12:02 am
0
1
I haven't used powdered

I haven't used powdered detergents for at least 15 years, and hardly anybody else does anymore except low income people or large families. It has nothing to do with the President of the United States, does anyone really believe that the managers at P&G just woke up the day after the election and decided this? Where do people come up with these crazy ideas?

corgimom
32500
Points
corgimom 11/12/12 - 12:07 am
0
1
Allhans, your "magic number"

Allhans, your "magic number" of under 50 applies to the total number of workers employed by a business, and P&G employs thousands. Please educate yourself on the law.

The jobs are getting moved to LA because the facilities are newer and more modern, that was reported in the story.

ALABAMA13
2
Points
ALABAMA13 12/15/12 - 02:35 am
0
0
Real P&G Answers

I am always amazed at the level of ignorance displayed on the comments section of any site.It's no wonder we have idiots doing the things they do! First of all I am one of those 160 @ the plant. Fact#1 dry cleans better than liquid but cost more to make. Fact #2 the plant in alex is less than 5 years newer than augusta, it's a dollars thing. Fact #3 They told us about the study over a year ago,they have been as up front as they could. Fact #4 No other company in the world would do for their employees what P&G is doing for us.I have never understood how so many on the outside could claim to know what's going on in the inside when they have never been there.I always say..IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT DON'T OPEN YOU'RE MOUTH!

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