Production stops at Philip Morris in Berlin

Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Date: 31.05.2019

Decline in cigarette sales in Europe

The tobacco company Philip Morris will discontinue cigar production at its Berlin plant starting next year. The company announced on Tuesday that this will take place from 1 January 2020. This will affect a total of 950 employees. The brands Marlboro, L&M and Chesterfield belong to the company.

The reason for the production stop is that sales of cigarettes in Europe are declining significantly. A “change in consumer behavior” requires a “significant reduction in production capacity” explained the group. The decline in sales led to considerable overcapacities.

However, 75 employees will continue to work at the Berlin plant in order to produce volume tobacco for the European market. A further 25 employees will be transferred to the plant in Dresden and the administrative headquarters in Gräfelfing near Munich.

Criticism from the trade union

The 950 employees who lose their jobs should get “fair and socially acceptable solutions”, says Philip Morris. The NGG union described this as “clear-cutting” and “irresponsible”.

“Philip Morris’s Berlin plant is highly profitable and has been in the black for years,” says the NGG. The decision to stop production was taken without looking for alternatives to how jobs could be maintained in Berlin despite falling demand.

According to NGG Vice Chairman Freddy Adjan, the announcement to implement a “smoke-free future” and to work with the tobacco heater IQOS “on its strong presence in Germany” is “completely untrustworthy”.