EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMore Than 1,400 Workers In Pike County, Ohio, To Receive Possible Layoff Notices
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Sean Delancey, Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 17, 2014 12:06 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 18, 2014 8:59 AM EDT
Piketon , Ohio
Roughly 1400 people woke up to bad news Thursday morning.
It's called a warn notice, and it means their livelihood is on the line.
"These are the higher paying jobs in the area," Herman Potter said.
But those jobs are now in jeopardy.
Herman Potter is president of the Steel Workers Union in Piketon, Ohio.
His employer, Fluor B&W issued a warn notice, stating layoffs are possible.
Fluor B&W was hired by the Department of Energy to clean the former Portsmouth gaseous diffusion plant and re-industrialize the property three years ago.
The way things stand now, the DOE is cutting #110 million from the project's funding.
That leaves workers on the chopping block.
"We would like to see that we don't have to engage in any kind of involuntary separations, but still have to plan for what's present today, and that looks like a significant budget shortfall," Jeff Wagner, of Fluor B&W, said.
Wagner said if things don't change, he estimates about 700 jobs will be lost.
Potter said that puts skilled workers out, with nowhere to go but across the country to find work in the nuclear field.
"That leads them from this community, and that takes them away from their families," he said.
And Ootter said, once any worker is gone, they’re gone for good.
"You're going to lose some skilled work force that you'll never get back, once they leave," he said.
A contractor at the former gaseous diffusion plant in Piketon, Ohio, said its workforce of more than 1,400 people is being provided with notices about possible layoffs.
Fluor B&W is the decontamination and decommission contractor working for the Department of Energy at the former gaseous diffusion plant, which enriched uranium from 1954 to 2001.
“Fluor workers, our workforce, will be provided notices this week,” company spokesman Jason Lovins said Thursday. “That is not an announcement of layoffs. It is an announcement due to budget reductions there is the possibility of layoffs coming.”
Lovins said the WARN letter notices were being put in the mail on Thursday and workers should be receiving them this week.
WARN stands for the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Lovins said the notices are required if a company is anticipating the possibility of layoffs in large numbers such as one-third of a company’s workforce or 500 or more workers.
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