Cuts could force layoffs at SRS

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Employees of Savannah River Site's three main contractors were warned Monday that federal budget cuts could require new layoffs this fall extending beyond the elimination of 1,400 jobs announced last year.

"The Department of Energy Environmental Management budget is being reduced by $380 million, and although the overall impact to SRS is not specifically known, there will be impact to our company," Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President Garry Flowers wrote in a memo to all employees.

The company was given clearance last fall to eliminate 1,400 jobs by the end of August. So far, 328 workers accepted voluntary separation and 342 were laid off in March, leaving as many as 730 additional layoffs during the next "involuntary separation" cycle in August.

Flowers' memo Monday, however, raised the specter of even more firings linked to the planned reduction of activities at the site's H Canyon separations area and related facilities, which jointly employ about 800 workers.

"In light of budget reductions at H Canyon and HB Line, we foresee the potential for additional positions to be impacted by an involuntary separation program in the September/October timeframe," he wrote, without providing any numbers.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions had 6,329 employees April 30, making it the largest of several major employers at the site.

Also today, officials for two other contractors -- Savannah River Remediation and Wackenhut Services Inc.-- announced plans to eliminate 100 positions each.

Savannah River Remediation has 2,716 employees, and Wackenhut employs 777.

To help accomplish the cuts, all three companies plan to seek workers willing to leave voluntarily before considering layoffs.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions will open a "self-select" window starting today and continuing through June 10.

Savannah River Remediation is also seeking volunteers willing to leave and will offer incentives for the next four weeks.

Workers approved for the program will receive severance of one week's pay for every year of service, up to 26 weeks, Dave Olson, the company's president, said in an e-mail to all workers.

WSI Savannah River General Manager Randy Garver said Wackenhut's plan to cut 100 jobs includes a similar opportunity for voluntary separation. The window for such actions, his memo said, is from May 31 to June 13.

"The intent of this effort is to have all participants processed for voluntary separation during this time period with their last day being July 15, 2011," he said.

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WoodyKaminer 05/16/11 - 11:22 pm
Will someone please tell

Will someone please tell NObama that funding jobs for 1000 people for 6 months and then firing 2000 workers 6 months later is NOT progress. Its called 1/2 step forward and 3 steps back.

farrow.trent_4037 05/17/11 - 09:13 am
i agree with WoodyKaminer

i agree with WoodyKaminer

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