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Procter & Gamble to Cut 215 Boston Jobs

Posted on August 7, 2008

Bad news for those with jobs in Boston‘s Gillette headquarters.

Procter & Gamble Co.
has announced its plans to cut 215 jobs from Gillette‘s South Boston headquarters, the first major cut at the world shaving facility, according to an article from The Boston Globe. The company also announced it would shut down a plant in Fort Devens, Mass.

The company, based in Cincinnati, Oh., has been trying to trim jobs since it acquired Gillette in 2005.

The jobs being cut in South Boston make up about 9 percent of the 2,400 workers in Massachusetts employed by Procter & Gamble. About 50 to 60 employees from this plant are expected to be transferred to a Procter & Gamble plant in Andover, Mass., but most of the jobs will be transferred to Poland and Mexico.

The Fort Devens factory employs about 400 workers who package razors, shaving cream and other goods. The Merrimack Valley Project, a group of church and labor organizations, had fought to keep this plant open after the company closed a plant in Fort Devens in 2006, resulting in the loss of 100 jobs.

Procter &Gamble said the loss of jobs in Boston is the result of shifting manufacturing of older shaving systems to sites in Poland and a new facility in Mexico. The South Boston site will serve as the home for newer shaving technologies. As a result, Gillette said it will need 215 less employees by 2013. The company said a majority of the job cuts will be managed through attrition, voluntary separation and retirement.

“All of these moves are critical to the future success of the blades and razor business,” said P&G spokeswoman Kelly Vanasse in the article. “These changes make us able to better serve the needs of the regions where these products are going to be sold and also bring some cost efficiencies.”

While Procter & Gamble said it plans to move some jobs out of the country, the company also said it would continue to invest in South Boston. The company plans to invest $100 million in South Boston’s Gillette headquarters, add a $35 million unit that will enable the site to produce its own energy and $50 million to move the global grooming business unit from Prudential Tower to South Boston.