Rj Reynolds News and Happenings.

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What do you think - will Rj Reynolds grow fast? Are they expanding their staff? How does Rj Reynolds stack up against the competition?

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openmic in Winston Salem, North Carolina

72 months ago

Host said: What do you think - will Rj Reynolds grow fast? Are they expanding their staff? How does Rj Reynolds stack up against the competition?

RJ Reynolds is being dismantled. The plan is to sell off all assets and move brand names and production overseas. They will continue to shrink their staff via outsourcing, off-shoring and layoffs. RJ Reynolds is being run by the people who formerly held the #3 position in their industry (Reynolds was #2); they are trying to resume #3 status again.

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toxlabrat in winston-salem, North Carolina

65 months ago

R.J. Reynolds, now Reynolds American is going to have un uphill climb as the future continues to unfold. With inceasing negative press, regulations, taxes, ect. being placed on the entire tobacco industry, it is just simply a little bit volatile right now, but I do not feel this is in any way a result of RJR as a corporate entity or the way they run their operation.

If you ask anyone in the Triad area of North Carolina how they feel about RJR, you will find that more than 90% of these people hold the company in the highest regards (myslef included). They have always been known for how well they treat their employees (no matter what level they reside on the corporate ladder). Even in the terrible times that they have been facing in recent days, they have taken EXTREME lengths to try to reduce costs in ways that will keep them from having to order employee layoffs, which is much more than can be said for other industries suffering at this time (Auto, Textile, ect.) can say. Those businesses just jump to the easy solution for cutting costs and that is translated into laying off workers. They do this without concern for these people and their families. The only real concerns they have are will it work and how can we best run "damage control" from a PR standpoint.

RJ Reynolds and all tobacco companies are and have been getting a horribly raw deal. Currently their or several products on the market that can cause health concerns. One of the biggest ones is alcohol. Not only does alcohol cause direct health problems to the consumers, but causes a numerous amount of indirect health risks to others. Deaths and injuries due to drunk drivers, death and injuries due to alcohol induced abusive behavior, verbal abuse to alcohol induced behavior, just to name a few. The last time I checked there is only one indirect factor regarding health concerns to people with tobacco, and that (second hand smoke) is only a theory and has not been scientifically proven!
Go RJR!

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openmic in Greensboro, North Carolina

62 months ago

“If you ask anyone in the Triad area of North Carolina how they feel about RJR, you will find that more than 90% of these people hold the company in the highest regards”
That is no longer true. Since the B&W merger the place has become a sweatshop. Maybe a few pensioners hold onto their warm memories of what RJR once was, but even a lot of them are becoming disgusted. RJR lays off an average of 200 to 500 people per year, and now has less than half the staff they had ten years ago. They are outsourcing as many jobs as possible and slashing budgets without regard to consequence. Quality used to be over 98% but now is about 84% (and their President insists that 80% is good enough). It is nearly impossible to get a regular role job now (only short term contracts at shrunken wages are offered). I have watched them sell off assets and ship equipment out of the country for the last three years. Once the SEC allows BAT to take control, RJR will be out of Winston-Salem within a few years. IT and Sales are being hit particularly hard – IT will be 100% outsourced within the next two years and Sales support is already outsourced and just about useless. True, the economy and politics is hurting them but RJR management is killing the company fastest.

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toxlabrat in winston-salem, North Carolina

62 months ago

"Once the SEC allows BAT to take control"

Just as an FYI, the BATF has had control over the tobacco industry for many years now, hence the acronym (Bureau of Alchol Tobacco and Firearms). Now, it has been transitioned and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has control over the regulatory aspects of the business, as are they still compliant to ISO regulations as well.

As for RJR laying off a lot of people and outsourcing work to other contract companies and even other countries, I can tell you this was not without a lot of effort on their part. It is not like they just said our profits are down so let us cut some jobs. It took years of rapidly declining profits for this company before they finally started making the hard decisions to lay people off. Unlike other companies in the Triad who do not even bother to bring in Six Sigma teams and analysts to try to show them where they can cut costs in other places so that they can keep from having to cut so many jobs. A good example of one of these companies would be Hanes Brands Inc. This company has gone through MASSIVE lay offs every single year for over 5 years straight. In fact they just had two massive lay offs in 2009 and will probably have more to come in 2010. On top of that, the issues that Hanes Brands is facing is just poor management and the fact that they are greedy. They could keep their plants and offices open in Winston-Salem and this country, yet they choose to move them overseas because of their greed. RJR is not the same, as the majority of their profit losses has come from tremendous amounts of regulatory changes, negative press and government mandated taxes. In 2006 tobacco tax was increased to over $0.50 oer pack, and that tax has continued to increase, with the latest increase happening not more than a few months ago.

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toxlabrat in winston-salem, North Carolina

62 months ago

In the end, yes, as I stated before, RJR/Reynolds American will most likely be packing up shop and heading overseas in the near future, however, I do not think it has and is a decision that has been reached lightly.

This is a company who has been a driving force for decades in the economy, philanthropy and personal finances of those residing Winston-Salem and the state of North Carolina in general, and for the vast majority of that time, this company has gone above and beyond no matter how the natural economical cycles have changed. This is a company who bought Reynolda Village and built an entire town complete with a church, golf cource, shops, etc. for their employees and put it on the same estate ground in which the owners lived. Since that the company has donated a plethera of money to schools like Wake Forest, hospitals like Baptist and Brenners as well as countless other causes. It has not been until the past few years after Six Sigma teams had exhausted every avenue of cost savings that they finally had to face the fact that they were going to have to start making cutbacks somewhere or else they would be going out of business and no one would have a job. I think it is admirable that a company would choose to sell off a historic building downtown that really has not been needed for years since the newer HQ was built next door, in an effort to save a few hundred jobs for another 5 years. You will not find many other large companies who would ever consider taking such a loss just for the sake of their employees.

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openmic in Greensboro, North Carolina

62 months ago

Some misconceptions here:
First, BAT = British American Tobacco, owner of B&W and eventual owner of RJR. They bought RJR for the brand names. With a poor working environment in the U.S., BAT will liquidate RJR. No doubt that the BATF will also help close RJR (along with other tobacco companies) but that is a whole different issue.
Second, RJR did bring in consultants to try helping them, such as Booze-Allen. The consultants did not say what RJR management wanted to hear, and they are ignoring the advice. For example, RJR was advised NOT to outsource IT because other companies suffered after doing that.
Third, although I agree with your comments about Hanes, this thread is NOT about Hanes. And I'd say that when you've laid off over half your staff that IS a massive layoff, even if you did it over a period of time.
Fourth, I acknowledged that RJR used to be a benevolent company in the community. But that was in the past. It is a whole different world now inside RJR. They are not taking losses for the sake of their employees. They are getting out of town as fast as they can, with mainly the poor economy slowing them down. They have been selling off many buildings downtown these past few years, and will sell the Plaza Building (what you call the newer HQ next door) or lease it out to the outsourcing companies that they are hiring.
My apologies to Indeed and its users for allow this forum to become a debate.

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Noahs Ark in Fullerton, California

58 months ago

If RJ Reynolds is doing so bad. Then why are they hiring so many people?

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8900 in Winston Salem, North Carolina

53 months ago

openmic in Greensboro, North Carolina said: Some misconceptions here:
First, BAT = British American Tobacco, owner of B&W and eventual owner of RJR. They bought RJR for the brand names. With a poor working environment in the U.S., BAT will liquidate RJR. No doubt that the BATF will also help close RJR (along with other tobacco companies) but that is a whole different issue.
Second, RJR did bring in consultants to try helping them, such as Booze-Allen. The consultants did not say what RJR management wanted to hear, and they are ignoring the advice. For example, RJR was advised NOT to outsource IT because other companies suffered after doing that.
Third, although I agree with your comments about Hanes, this thread is NOT about Hanes. And I'd say that when you've laid off over half your staff that IS a massive layoff, even if you did it over a period of time.
Fourth, I acknowledged that RJR used to be a benevolent company in the community. But that was in the past. It is a whole different world now inside RJR. They are not taking losses for the sake of their employees. They are getting out of town as fast as they can, with mainly the poor economy slowing them down. They have been selling off many buildings downtown these past few years, and will sell the Plaza Building (what you call the newer HQ next door) or lease it out to the outsourcing companies that they are hiring.
My apologies to Indeed and its users for allow this forum to become a debate.

Hello, openmic, if you are still out there, could you speak to the environment in internal communications at R.J. Reynolds? I am interviewing for a position there and am interested in a positive workplace. Would you say that the "sweatshop" atmosphere is all-pervasive or does the environment differ by department?

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