This was sent to all US - AB employees yesterday…
Over the past few weeks, the senior management of our organization has made very difficult decisions, and today we are announcing a workforce reduction of approximately 1,400 salaried people in our U.S. beer-related divisions, with about 75 percent coming from our St. Louis organization at headquarters, downtown offices and our Sunset Hills offices. The primary groups affected are engineering, information technology and other corporate positions.
Most reductions will occur before the end of the year, with the remainder taking effect next year. These reductions are in addition to the more than 1,000 people company-wide who will retire before the end of the year and in addition to the 250 positions that are open system-wide and that will remain unfilled. An additional 415 contractor positions will be eliminated. BEC and Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group employees are not affected by this announcement.
These decisions are a result of a careful review of each department. As expected, there are overlapping functions and synergies gained through the merger, which have driven part of these reductions. Others are the result of ongoing efficiency improvements and additional cost-reductions, including lower capital expenditures. These were not easy decisions, but were necessary for the organization.
The people affected will be offered severance benefits that we hope will help ease the transition as much as possible. In addition to severance pay and pension benefits, displaced employees will be offered one year of medical coverage, 2009 vacation pay and outplacement services.
We know this will be very difficult – many good workers who are trusted and valued in the organization will not remain. We respect and are grateful for their many contributions. They are, and always will be, a part of this company's legacy of quality – we have long said, once a member of the Anheuser-Busch family, always a member.
In the coming days, your managers and People representatives will be meeting with employees to advise them of their status. We appreciate your utmost professionalism and esteem extended toward each of your colleagues during this period of transition. We also thank you for remaining focused on results and in managing through this uncertain and unfortunate time. The spirit of this company – which comes from its people – has never been more evident than it is now.