Hav-A-Tampa cigar plant closing - 500 lose jobs
TAMPA, Fla. -- A cigar factory in Tampa is closing its doors and laying off nearly 500 workers.
Altadis USA announced Tuesday that it is shutting down its Hav-A-Tampa plant in light of decreasing demand and higher cigar taxes. In a letter to the state, Altadis USA said it plans to terminate 492 positions by Aug. 24.
Rick McKenzie, the company's vice president of human resources, says business has been hurt by rising taxes. A new federal tobacco tax went into effect in April and will help pay for a health insurance program for low-income children.
The company's Web site says Hav-A-Tampa cigars were originally trademarked in 1902.
McKenzie says the cigars will continue to be produced at a plant in Puerto Rico.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009