Associated Press Release
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Swisher International will lay off 250 employees in Jacksonville as it moves some of its cigar-making production from the city to the Dominican Republic.
The Times-Union reports the company notified the employees on Friday that the layoffs will take place over the next 12 months. It follows 150 layoffs last year.
Company officials say that when excise taxes were increased on all tobacco products in 2009, Swisher had to raise its prices 35 percent to cover the hike.
He said that there will be discussions between management and unions over severance packages.
Swisher already has a production facility in the Dominican Republic and has been increasing production there for several years. The company will still employ more than 500 employees in Jacksonville after the layoffs.