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WAMC New York News
Tue February 14, 2012
PepsiCo Layoffs Include Westchester
By Dave Lucas
Harrison, NY – One of the biggest employers in Westchester County has announced it is laying off nearly 9-thousand employees around the world. As Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports, local officials aren't too worried about Pepsi-Cola's down size...
PepsiCo employs about 3,000 people in Westchester: the layoffs were announced during a conference call last Thursday with company officials, who are branding 2012 a "transitional year." The downsizing is part of a long-term plan to save the company $1.5 billion over the next three years, while PepsiCo invests more money in marketing strategies to take on rival Coke. Pepsi spokesman Jeff Dahncke responded to a request for comment via email, saying, quote "Specifically, about 8700 jobs across 30 countries will be impacted. Roughly one percent of the total number of jobs affected globally are in Westchester, so we will continue to maintain a large presence in the county."
Westchester County's Director of Economic Development Larry Gottlieb believes the layoffs in New York will be minimal. Pepsi employees in Westchester are split among three facilities: a bottling operation in Somers; a beverage research and development center in Valhalla; and the company's global headquarters in Purchase. Austin Shafran, vice president of public affairs for the Empire State Development Corporation, says PepsiCo has been working with state officials to ensure job retention. Shafran explained Pepsi has to fulfill certain requirements in order to receive the grant money.
Pepsi is dealing with higher costs for raw materials like sugar, corn and aluminum , and they've raised prices to offset those costs. Larry Gottlieb says as long as the world economy remains sluggish, companies will be forced to make changes, cancel capital projects, and let employees go. Gottlieb notes that officials offer to help growing companies throughout the Hudson Valley whenever possible.