SRNS layoffs to affect fewer than announced

Savannah River Site’s primary contractor will lay off 200 workers next week – far fewer than planned – during the final round of a workforce reduction that began last December.

“Impacted employees will be notified beginning Aug. 29 and it is our intent that all notifications will be completed by Aug. 31,” wrote Garry Flowers, the president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, in a memo dated Wednesday and obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

The company, which employs about 5,500 at the site, was given Department of Energy clearance Dec. 31 to cut as many as 1,400 jobs. Previous reductions included voluntary separations by 513 workers and the layoff of 342 employees in March.

The remaining cuts, expected to affect 545 workers, have been reduced to 275, Flowers said.

“Though we had previously communicated the potential to reduce our workforce by 545 positions by the end of the calendar year, I have revised our August projections to approximately 200 positions,” he wrote. “In addition, I also expect there will be up to 75 positions reduced during the remainder of the calendar year as we complete Recovery Act projects.”

The number of affected workers, he said, was amended because of changes in the operation of H Canyon and the extension of a Recovery Act project involving transuranic waste that is being processed and shipped to a disposal site in New Mexico.

Workers laid off next week will each receive 60 days of pay and other severance benefits. Employees who lose their jobs will have access to the resources of a transition center to aid displaced employee.

“Workforce reductions are never a positive experience and every employee deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect,” Flowers’ memo said. “The Transition Center is available to provide counseling and to assist our co-workers in finding other employment opportunities.”

Contractors Savannah River Remediation and Wackenhut Services reduced their workforces by 100 positions each.

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