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R.J. Reynolds Cutting Jobs In N.C.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is offering buyouts as the Winston-Salem company trims its work force as it is selling fewer cigarettes.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is offering buyouts as the Winston-Salem company trims its work force as it is selling fewer cigarettes.

The company is seeking volunteers among its 1,400 manufacturing employees, offering two weeks of pay for every year worked.

Spokesman David Howard says about half of the cigarette-maker's manufacturing employees have at least 30 years with the company. Many earn between $50,000 and $67,000 a year, compared with the average statewide manufacturing salary of about $32,000.

Reynolds American Inc. and its subsidiaries like R.J. Reynolds have eliminated more than 80 percent of its local work force in the past three decades, dropping from more than 15,000 full-time workers to about 2,600.

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