Cigarette giant slashes Aust workforce

Callum Godde
·2-min read

Tobacco giant Philip Morris will shed about 100 jobs under a nationwide restructure of its dwindling Australian workforce.

Workers were informed of the redundancies on Monday afternoon, with the job losses across multiple departments including sales and back-office staff.

Philip Morris' Australian headquarters are based in Melbourne, with about 350 people employed across the country.

About 100 of those will go when the consultation process wraps up, although some affected staff could be redeployed into other roles.

The Swiss-based global tobacco brand is best known in Australia for its popular Marlboro and Longbeach cigarettes.

In a statement, Philip Morris said the call was made after an extensive internal review that highlighted potential business efficiencies.

"The anticipated changes to our Australian organisation will see us centralise or consolidate operations throughout the business," Australian managing director Tammy Chan said on Monday.

It's understood the redundancies aren't linked to the global COVID-19 recession and have been in the works for a few months.

The latest round of job losses will mean the company's Australian workforce has more than halved over the past seven years.

Its Melbourne cigarette manufacturing site, established in Moorabbin in 1954, was shuttered in 2014 and led to about 180 factory workers losing their jobs.

Four years later, another 150 staff - mainly from Philip Morris' Australian sales force - were made redundant.

Ms Chan said the proposed new structure would allow the company to respond to changing market dynamics more quickly and efficiently.

"The unfortunate reality is that the proposed changes will impact some talented and committed people from our organisation," she said.

"I thank them for their years of service to the company and will ensure they are treated with the utmost respect and dignity throughout this process."

Outgoing staff will be offered outplacement services and career counselling.