Local legislators meet about KCK Procter and Gamble plant closing in 2020

The Proctor and Gamble manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kansas, will close in 2020, according to an announcement Wednesday.

State legislators from Wyandotte County called a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 7, with a national representative of Procter and Gamble after news broke of the Kansas City, Kansas, P&G plant closing in late 2020.

Sen. Pat Pettey, D-6th Dist., called a meeting of the Wyandotte County legislative delegation to discuss the issue. About 280 full-time employees at the plant are affected, as well as an estimated 350 contract workers and suppliers. The dish soap production will move in late 2020 to a new facility at Tabler Station, West Virginia, according to the company’s announcement.

“I was very disappointed to read the announcement,” Sen. Pettey stated. “I do appreciate that they let the employees of P&G be the first to know and that they are giving them a window of over two years to plan.”

The plant has been in Kansas City, Kansas, for about 113 years, according to company officials. Unified Government officials said on Wednesday that they heard about the closing plans for the first time on Tuesday night, and had not been asked about providing options or incentives for staying here.

Company officials said on Wednesday that the decision to close the Kansas City, Kansas, plant was based on a study that was begun in 2013. A P&G spokesman on Wednesday stated that the new production site was being located closer to customers and suppliers.

“We want to do everything we can to make sure the employees are treated fairly and the property is purchased and put back into operation as quickly as possible after P&G leaves,” Sen. Pettey stated. “P&G has been a good community partner; they will be missed.”

Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-31st Dist., said he was concerned about the plant closing, and especially about the protections in place for the employees who work there, involving their rights and severance pay.

He also said he was wondering if sexual harassment issues recently reported at the plant, involving a third-party staffing company at the plant, might have been an underlying factor in why they decided to close the location. Company officials stated Wednesday that the closing decision was based on the logistics and locations concerning the supply chain.

Rep. Ruiz added that he is thankful that the union is in place to protect the employees’ rights during the closing.

A company spokesman on Wednesday stated that it would work with the union and the employees, and if possible, find jobs in other P&G plants for them.

The UG on Wednesday also offered to work with P&G employees to help them find employment in the Kansas City area. The Wyandotte Economic Development Council wants to begin to help market the plant site, and wants to work with Workforce Partnership to identify other employment options, according to Greg Kindle, WEDC president. Kindle stated the job market in the Kansas City area is currently very good. He added that P&G had been a good community partner through the years.

See earlier stories at http://wyandottedaily.com/pg-to-close-manufacturing-plant-in-kck/

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