Philip Morris to Cut Staff


New York-based Philip Morris Cos. Inc. said it will close two of its last three operations in Louisville in 15 months, displacing about 70 of its 170 employees still left in the city.

Most of the displaced workers will be of retirement age by the closing date, company spokeswoman Kim Farlow told the Associated Press.

The three operations -- a stem-processing facility, some warehouses and a material-conversion plant -- are vestiges of a large cigarette-manufacturing operation that Philip Morris closed in Louisville last year.

Farlow said the company has no plans to close the conversion operation, in which workers cut and perforate paper to make "tipping paper." The paper is used to join filters to cigarette rods at Philip Morris cigarette factories elsewhere.

The closing of the stem-processing facility will vacate Philip Morris' sprawling complex in western Louisville. City Mayor Dave Armstrong said he hopes Philip Morris will donate the property to the city to be turned into an industrial park to create jobs. Farlow said the company has not made plans for any of the properties.
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