Tobacco titan Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) said today it won't lay off any of its workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the company said it will continue providing full pay for all of its employees, regardless of whether they are currently able to work or have been idled by facility shutdowns.
While few companies have carried out wholesale firings of their workforce, many have been compelled to furlough part or all of their employees without pay to save money during the COVID-19 shutdown. Philip Morris seems determined to buck the trend, however, at the same time it continues to offer solid dividends to investors.
Philip Morris' commitment to "employment stability" for its approximately 73,000 worldwide employees means not only will the company avoid layoffs, but it will also freeze any restructuring plans. Those individuals who are still at work in locations ranging from offices to warehouses will not only get their usual pay but also "special recognition awards."
The tobacco company says the measures are intended to give "its employees' job security and peace of mind, throughout the global pandemic period." It is also contributing to the fight against the coronavirus with various other measures, including donating funds and protective equipment, and producing hand sanitizer and protective masks in certain facilities. It is also partly funding Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago as it attempts to rapidly develop a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine.