Levi's sweetens plant closure with $2.8m community relations plan

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Levi Strauss has implemented an extensive community and employee relations plan to coincide with its decision to close six US manufacturing plants.

Last week, the company announced it would be closing the manufacturing operations as part of its strategic shift away from owner-and-operated manufacturing. The company is also focusing its resources away from manufacturing and toward product marketing. As a result, plants in Texas, California, and Georgia will be closed by October 2002. Ketchum is one of the PR agencies the company retains.

While Levi's has been negotiating with the unions involved in the plants to hammer out "transition" payments to employees, the company has also devised a number of community and employee services. One is the addition of an employee advocate role in each plant location.

The advocate will help laid-off staffers tap into the wide network of support available to them.

At the same time, Levi's will continue to focus on realigning the company's image.

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