ROCKINGHAM — About six warehouse workers stand to lose their jobs when the local Pepsi distribution plant shifts its operations nearer Interstate 95 at the end of April, a spokesman for Pepsi Bottling Ventures said Thursday.
The plant, at 125 S. Long Drive, is one of three scheduled to close in order to consolidate distribution operations at a new plant in St. Pauls, said Trevor Johnson, a spokesman for the company. (Pepsi Bottling Ventures is an independent bottler that works with Pepsico to produce and distribute its soft drinks.)
“The vast majority” of the plant’s 36 workers will stay in Rockingham, Johnson said, managing their sales districts from home. Delivery drivers could elect to stay in Rockingham but would have to commute the approximately 60 miles to St. Pauls, so they are more likely to be transferred.
A half-dozen warehouse support workers will be able to seek other positions within the company but are likely to lose their jobs, Johnson said.
Kevin Powell, a delivery truck driver with the local Pepsi plant, said he’s been offered at position at the St. Pauls plant and that he was informed that April 22 will be the last day for the Rockingham plant. Powell said employees “figured it was coming” but that the timing of the announcement still “caught us off guard.”
“St. Pauls is a large-scale facility” intended to consolidate local operations now in Rockingham, Fayetteville and Lumberton, said Johnson, who works in Pepsi Bottling Ventures headquarters in Raleigh.
Pepsico produces about 80 percent of its own products, Johnson said, with independent bottlers such as PBV producing the remainder. PBV is is the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer seller, and distributor of Pepsi-Cola beverages and has 20 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware.
Staff Writer Gavin Stone contributed to this report. Reach reporter Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]