Keurig Dr Pepper will eliminate 500 jobs nationwide by Jan. 4, 2019, including 118 jobs across four facilities in Vermont, as the company consolidates operations following its merger this summer.
Local media outlets in Vermont broke the news on Thursday after state commissioner of labor Lindsay Kurrle announced the layoffs.
Katie Gilroy, Director of Corporate Communications at KDP, confirmed the reports to BevNET today. She said that the 500 cuts, most of which have already taken effect, affect employees “primarily in salaried positions across multiple functions and geographies.”
“This was a key step of bringing out two companies together,” Gilroy said. “This was not targeted at one individual company over another. As you can imagine, with a merger of this size, there is a duplication of roles, so in part, this is a rationalization of that. It’s also about us optimizing our organizational structure for speed, growth and efficiency.”
Gilroy said the KDP would not be releasing further details on the breakdown of where and which jobs have been eliminated. She confirmed that cuts occurred at KDP’s two main offices — in Plano, Texas, and Burlington, Mass. — as well as “a number of our locations across the country.”
The cuts in Vermont were required to be released due to state legal requirements, Gilroy said. They affect KDP’s four facilities in the state in the cities of Waterbury, South Burlington, Essex and Williston. Eighty-two of the jobs eliminated will be at KDP’s Waterbury manufacturing location, which housed the company’s “test and learn” lab for product development. Those operations will be phased out over the next several months, and some employees will continue reporting to work through Jan. 4, 2019. The Waterbury facility will remain open, as will the other three locations in Vermont.
Gilroy said R&D operations will be decentralized from the Waterbury facility and integrated on-site into KDP’s manufacturing plants in Tennessee, Washington, Virginia and in Canada.
“We’ve determined that it’s more effective to locate those testing capabilities within the production facilities where process improvements are being implemented,” she said.
Kurrle told BevNET she was informed of the cuts by KDP on Thursday, the same day the company began notifying employees.
According to the Vermont Department of Labor, KDP (formerly Keurig Green Mountain) has eliminated 573 jobs in Vermont since 2015, including this round. The company cut 35 jobs in the state in May.
“We still have a significant presence there, it’s been an important part of the company since our founding,” said Gilroy when asked about KDP’s future doing business in Vermont.
Gilroy declined to discuss any further job cuts KDP may be discussing internally.
“I can’t speculate on the future,” she said when asked if further cuts would be forthcoming. She added: “This was a significant step for us in the integration process.”
Update: An earlier version of this story mistakenly reported that all four of Keurig Dr Pepper’s Vermont facilities, rather than just Waterbury, have production capabilities. The story has been corrected.