Needham, located in northern New England, is about to see 146 jobs lost to its residents thanks to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company's announcement that it will be shutting down manufacturing operations at that location by the end of this year. Job replacement will not be offered as a 100 percent guarantee to all employees, reports the Boston Globe, meaning approximately all 146 jobs will be full-blown layoffs.
What will become of the space after the bottling plant shuts down? Nick Martin, a spokesperson for the New Hampshire-based Coke company says it has plans to use the space on B Street near the Needham Crossing purely as a warehouse. Once converted, the facility will be used for the sole purpose of a permanent distribution and maintenance warehouse for Coca-Cola vending machines and various other sales equipment. Those functions are currently based in the company's other New Hampshire property in Waltham.
According to Martin, the Coke company is trying to work with the employee union to move at least some of those 146 interested workers to other facilities in the region.
"There are some strategic operational benefits to co-locating that maintenance function within the sales and distribution center. So that's why it made sense to move that facility under the same roof."Another announcement was also made from the company stating that Coca-Cola plans to invest $70 million into operations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut after a study of operations is conducted. This information comes in from the Hartford Business Journal. Another $22.6 million will be invested in the company's East Hartford, Connecticut, production center, as well as an additional $42 million into a new sales center that will also be located in Connecticut.
Boston Business Journal also weighed in on the matter, citing a more lengthy statement released from spokesperson Nick Martin, which Martin later confirmed to the Business Journal while adding that "a significant amount" of employees will be laid off.
"Coca-Cola is proud to be a local business partner for over 40 years, and we remain committed to being a responsible and engaged member of the community. We are committed to supporting all of [our] associates and to treating them with the utmost respect and dignity throughout this challenging transition.... We are fully committed to maintaining the entire footprint of the Needham facility by re-configuring the current space. These decisions were not made lightly, and we regret that the necessary changes will result in job impacts for associates currently working in production in Needham."