BROCKVILLE, Ont.—U.S. consumer goods company Procter & Gamble is closing its Brockville, Ont. plant.
P&G Canada told the facility’s 480 workers about the closure last week, saying the “difficult decision” follows a years-long assessment of its North American supply chain.
The Brockville plant will be permanently closed in late 2020 or early 2021.
It will continue operating normally until early 2020 when P&G will finish shifting production of Bounce and Swiffer products to a new manufacturing plant currently under construction outside Martinsburg, West Virginia.
P&G spokesperson Jeff LeRoy said the three-year timeline on the closure will give the plant’s workers time to sit down with their managers and work out their next move.
“We are very hopeful that over the next three-four years we can work with each employee on a personal transition plan that meets everyone’s needs, whether that is retirement, transferring to P&G’s manufacturing site in Belleville, Ontario, transferring to a P&G site in the U.S. (we’ve had a lot of employees ask about this), or other options,” he said in an emailed statement.
The Brockville plant is one of the company’s four locations in Ontario, including its Canadian head office in Toronto. It will continue operating its manufacturing plant in Belleville as well as its distribution centre in Brantford, Ont.
Despite the relatively long timeline, the loss of nearly 500 jobs is a major blow to the eastern Ontario city.
“This is a huge disappointment for the city but is not totally unexpected,” Brockville Mayor David Henderson, said in a statement.
Though Henderson acknowledged the city knew about the possible move, he said the decision will impact not only the plant’s 480 workers, but will also take its toll on local suppliers and businesses. Located east of Kingston, Brockville has approximately 22,000 residents, according to the 2016 Census.
“The city is resilient, we have live through closures like this before and we will survive this one as well,” Henderson said. “We have three years before the closure and our Economic Development department and the new St. Lawrence Corridor partnership will be working hard to identify new investors and opportunities for this site.”
City Hall added that it will be actively marketing the plant to another employer that could bring jobs back to the city.
P&G has operated in Brockville for nearly 40 years.
“While this was a difficult decision for the company, the overall redesign efforts will help P&G transform the way it goes to market and revolutionize the way it sources, manufactures and produces across North America,” the company said in a statement.