April 22, 2009

Philip Morris to close plant a year early

U.S. tobacco giant Philip Morris USA said it would close its Concord, N.C., cigarette plant in July due to declining sales and a new federal excise tax.

The company had said it would close the plant in the end of 2010, but moved the date up as conditions had changed, company spokesman David Sylvia said, the Charlotte, N.C. Observer reported Wednesday.

Philip Morris said it was working with state officials and private agencies to provide transitional services for the 1,100 workers who would lose their jobs.

The plant once employed 2,500 workers, but the company's parent Altria began to consolidate production with a plant in Richmond, Va., in 2007.

About 530 workers transferred to the Richmond plant. Hundreds of others left the company, the newspaper said.