Cigar factory to close

Published 1:43 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Altadis U.S.A., a national cigar maker, has announced it’ll close its cigar factory in Selma.

“We’ll be completely shut down Dec. 5,” said Vlencon Brown, the plant manager. “Everybody will be paid through Dec. 15.”

Richard C. McKenzie, senior vice president of human resources for Altadis U.S.A., said Nov. 14 is the last production day at the plant, which began making cigars in Selma in 1941. The closure will leave 213 people without jobs. Employees received notices Tuesday morning.

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The company attributed government regulations, increasingly prohibitive smoking restrictions, rising taxes and an unprecedented decrease in consumer demand for the blunt-shape cigar as reasons for significant reduction in blunt sales.

“The people here built a great product,” McKenzie said. “there literally was no employment problem in the plant.”