Large-scale job cuts have been made at Jackson Family Wines in California – with unconfirmed reports that 170 employees have been made redundant.
The company, the largest wine producer based in Sonoma and owner of the Kendall-Jackson brand, allegedly made the job cuts in response to the ongoing recession, which has hit sales of high-end wines in particular.
Up to 170 workers have lost their jobs in the past few weeks, most of them on 30 January – a day dubbed ‘Black Friday’, according to reports in Santa Rosa’s Press Democrat newspaper.
As a privately-owned company, Jackson Family Wines is under no obligation to make public announcements of redundancies.
However, a company spokeswoman told decanter.com: ‘We are not disclosing specific numbers, other than to say there was a reduction in force affecting every area of the organisation, and that we took this step in light of challenging economic conditions.’
She added: ‘As you know, decisions that affect people’s lives are never easy to make.’
It is understood that those affected by the job cuts include winemakers, marketing executives and back-office staff.
The scale of the redundancies has left analysts predicting further job losses in California’s wine sector.
Foley Wine Group, which bought Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery in December, announced ‘a small number’ of job losses in unveiling its new structure under the new Foley Family Wines banner.
Company president Tim Matz said: ‘As with any organisation of this type, change is inevitable and necessary. We have no further plans for any other structural changes and we do foresee an increase in our staffing as we grow our business.’
Written by Richard Woodard