Tobacco Plant Merger Means Loss Of Jobs In Wilson
Posted April 6, 2005 4:14 a.m. EDT
WILSON, N.C. — Standard Commercial Tobacco announced it will close one of its two tobacco plants in Wilson. The area is already suffering from an 8.9 percent unemployment rate.
Seasonal employees at Standard Commercial are used to annual layoffs, but now the layoff is permanent. The company is closing its Miller Street plant. Approximately 120 full-time and 371 temporary employees may lose their jobs next month.
The tobacco dealer is in the process of merging with Virginia-based Dimon International. The companies said a merger makes them stronger, but it is a tough blow for the people of Wilson.
"We've lost a couple thousand jobs in the last two years. That's bad for a city our size," Wilson Mayor Bruce Rose said.
"Having dealt with other layoffs and buy-outs, we knew that there was a possibility some people would be let go anytime you merge two companies like that," said Geneice Hagans, assistant manager of the Employment Security Commission.
When Standard and Dimon officially merge, the company name will be Alliance One. A location for its headquarters is not yet certain. VF Jeanswear, a pharmaceutical plant and a plastic plant have all announced layoffs in the area in the last year and a half.