Reynolds American layoff process to last through March

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Reynolds American said job cuts at its biggest plant in Tobaccoville on Tuesday were the first of more to come.

Company spokeswoman Maura Payne did not specify Wednesday how many jobs or what type of jobs were eliminated.

"We are not going to incrementally announce how many jobs will be impacted and what resources have been identified. When it's all said and done--and we hope that will be in March--then we will put out that information in a total, comprehensive look," Payne said.

The layoffs are due to a restructuring that the company hopes will help grow profits, Payne said. Part of the restructuring process is determining which salaried and hourly jobs can be eliminated, Payne said.

"We have surveyed our salaried employees about their interest in leaving with our severance program. Today we begin surveying our manufacturing employees about the severance programs. We also, more importantly, take a look at what we do," Payne said.

The company has done similar surveys and analyses over the last 10 years. They have led to nearly 2,000 jobs being eliminated.