Paducah DOE site employees notified of staff reduction
Letters were mailed Tuesday to people working at the Department of Energy site at the former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant about a possible layoff of up to 214 employees.
The contract with the Fluor Federal Services Paducah Deactivation Project and LATA-Sharp Remediation Services (LSRS) will end Oct. 19. Employees who don’t transition to the new contractor on the project — Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership — will be laid off.
The U.S. Department of Energy sent Local 6 two messages regarding Fluor and LSRS employees. One is a message from Fluor Paducah Program Manager Bob Smith and the other is an interoffice memo from LSRS.
The message from Smith is to let workers know about the workforce reductions before the end of the contract, as required by the — Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN — and to let them know they can apply for positions with Four Rivers.
In his message, Smith says "plans are underway to reduce our workforce levels, expected to be up to 214 people (FPDP and LSRS combined) at the end of our contract." It says WARN letters would be mailed Tuesday to LSRS employees to let them know they might be affected. Smith’s message says "33 percent of LSRS employees may be impacted."
In part, the LSRS memo says:
LSRS’s period of performance at the U.S. Department of Energy Paducah Site will end on October 19, 2017. As a result, WARN letters are being mailed today to all LSRS employees.
Any reductions to the represented workforce will be conducted in accordance with the LSRS Collective Bargaining Agreement. For the non-bargaining unit employees, when the transition of the workforce is completed on October 19th, the remaining employees who do not transition to the incoming contractor will be involuntarily separated.
We have included both messages, which you can read in full below.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul, and Rep. James Comer released a joint statement about the DOE announcement, calling it "a serious disappointment."
When the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new long-term contract to continue cleanup work at the Paducah DOE site earlier this year, we praised its commitment to the project and to the community. We also worked hard over the years to secure funding to support operations and workers at the site. However, today’s announcement is a serious disappointment to us, to the Paducah community and especially to the workers at the site who will lose their jobs. In light of this development, we reiterate our calls for DOE Secretary Rick Perry to visit the Paducah facility. The congressional delegation in Washington demands information from DOE and its partners on the justification for this planned reduction in workforce and its impact on operations at the site.