Rio Tinto Kennecott announces reduction in workforce

Posted at 9:06 PM, Nov 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-05 09:13:13-05

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Rio Tinto Kennecott announced Wednesday they are reducing their local workforce during a time when metal prices are weak and in the face of a decline in commodity prices.

Kennecot reduced their existing support services staff by 65 jobs and moved 40 employees into alternate positions within the business. Further, Kennecott said they will not be hiring for 74 open positions.

A press release from Rio Tinto Kennecott states the reductions affected salaried employees who supported plant operations, and “no represented employees were part of the changes announced today.”

The company is offering severance packages and employee assistance to those affected.

The release states the changes reduce costs, “amidst a marked decline in commodity prices and a weak outlook for metals prices.”

Nigel Steward, managing director at Rio Tinto Kennecott, addressed the issue in the press release.

“We know these decisions have personal consequences for the people involved and their families as well as the employees who remain, and we are [committed] to helping everyone manage through this difficult transition,” he stated. “These changes are necessary to make sure our business stays strong, and we continue to contribute to the state’s economy during an especially challenging time for our industry.”

There are currently 2,000 employees working for Kennecott in Utah, according to the press release.