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3M: Quarterly Casualties

Industrial conglomerate cites slow sales, profit targets for 2,500 layoffs

Global industrial conglomerate 3M will cut 2,500 manufacturing jobs worldwide, it announced earlier this week as part of its quarterly financial release.

The diversified manufacturer, headquartered out of the Twin Cities area, has four Wisconsin plants among its 61 production facilities in the U.S., which employ 38,000 full-time equivalents, according to its 2021 annual report filed with regulators in February 2022. It also has 89 facilities worldwide with 57,000 workers, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. It has a storied history stemming from beginnings as mining operation to what is now a progressive, scientific-driven approach to various sectors of industrial production.

A 3M manufacturing plant in Menomonie, Wisconsin.—3M photo

"We expect macroeconomic challenges to persist in 2023," CEO Roman noted in a press release detailing the quarterly results. "Our focus is executing the actions we initiated in 2022 and delivering the best performance for customers and shareholders. Based on what we see in our end markets, we will reduce approximately 2,500 global manufacturing roles – a necessary decision to align with adjusted production volumes."

The company did not specify where these "global manufacturing roles" would come from at this time. It did emphasize a number of positives within the company structure moving into 2023, including stepping away from PFAS chemical involvement in the next two years:

"In a year impacted by inflation, global conflicts, and economic softening, our team took actions to position 3M for future success," said Roman. "We managed our portfolio – including the divestiture of our Food Safety business, planned spin-off of our Health Care business, and commitment to exit PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025 – while continuing to work towards a mediated resolution for Combat Arms litigation. We invested in growth and productivity, while following through on sustainability commitments.

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