Kennecott avoids additional lay offs after landslide

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jun 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-04 23:12:07-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah – Kennecott Utah Copper announced that enough eligible employees have accepted an early retirement offer, which means they will not have to lay off any more workers.

The announcement comes after about 100 workers were laid off earlier in the year following a massive landslide at the Bingham Canyon Mine.

Of the eligible employees, about 50 percent accepted the early retirement offer and an accompanying $20,000 early retirement incentive. Kennecott officials said more employees took the deal than they expected.

Because the number was higher than expected, Kennecott was able to offer 34 employees they had let go alternate roles with the company.

Wayne Holland, United Steel Workers, said the announcement demonstrates progress is being made.

“Today, where we’re at, with no actual layoffs and people having the opportunity to move around and the folks that have retired are pretty content that this was a good thing for them, is a huge obstacle for us to overcome and we’ve got more to go,” he said.

Kennecott has been working to avoid lay offs in other ways, including reducing overtime, reducing salaried staff and offering voluntary retirement incentives.