WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- A review of business practices at Reynolds American's headquarters and at its top subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., could lead to cuts of salaried employees, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The review was announced to employees Tuesday and is expected to be finished by Sept. 30, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Reynolds American communications director Jan Smith says officials won't know how many jobs might be affected until the review is completed. Smith says workers were told to notify the company by Friday if they are interested in leaving voluntarily with a severance package.
Company severance typically includes at least two weeks of pay for every year of service.
"We usually get a number of employees, some long-term at or near retirement age, to raise their hands when these opportunities come up," Smith said.
Smith says most of the 140 employees of Reynolds American are salaried, as are about 1,650 of the employees at Reynolds Tobacco. In all, the firms have about 3,700 employees in the Winston-Salem area.
The review will include non-production positions and sales positions that aren't in the field.
Many of the employees leaving the Reynolds downtown offices Tuesday carried manila envelopes with a red "confidential" stamp, but none commented.
R.J. Reynolds has announced other jobs cuts in the past.
The company said in December 2006 it was eliminating 80 salaried management positions in Winston-Salem. The company said in November 2007 it would drop as many as 700 jobs when it closed a retail unit by December 2009 and some 300 of those positions were cut last year.
The review is being conducted "to determine if there is anything the company wants to change to better compete in the current and future tobacco environment, to become more flexible and operate and grow as efficiently as possible," Smith said.