AUBURN, Maine — A Pepsi bottling plant will stop making carbonated soft drinks for the company next month, laying off 23 people.
The Pepsi Beverages Co. will continue to distribute from the Auburn facility, employing 90 people, said Bob Bates, regional sales director. Bates said the plant produces 20-ounce, 2-liter and 1-liter carbonated drinks for Pepsi.
Much of the business has shifted to noncarbonated drinks, said Bates, and Pepsi is consolidating its operations. The company will offer jobs in other plants to as many of the laid-off employees as possible, said Bates. The layoffs are expected to take place in mid-November, he said.
David Farmer, deputy chief of staff for Gov. John Baldacci, said the state was aware of the pending layoffs, and the Maine Department of Labor was ready to work with affected employees.
The plant was owned and operated by Seltzer and Rydholm Inc. until 2004, when it was purchased by the Pepsi Bottling Group. The group merged with Pepsico earlier this year.