The company responsible for managing and disposing of liquid waste at the Savannah River Site announced Tuesday its plans to cut 100 jobs.
Savannah River Remediation (SRR) is now in its third year of a six-year contract working for the Department of Energy. Company spokesman Rick Kelley said the amount of work remaining is not enough to justify keeping all of SRR’s employees. “Whenever you get close to the end of your contract… you examine the work that you have remaining and you look at the workforce you have,” Kelley said, “And that’s just part of the process that we’re in right now.”
The company offered voluntary retirement packages to 100 employees earlier this year. Wackenhutt, another contractor at the site also trimmed 100 jobs. The site’s primary contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) has laid off over 1,000 employees since stimulus funding ended over the summer.
According to a memo from company president Dave Olson, the process will be done in two phases. The first phase will give employees an opportunity to participate in a Self-Select Program (SSP); the second phase, if necessary, will consist of an Involuntary Separations Program (ISP).
Employees will have until November 18 to volunteer to participate in the SSP, which is an early retirement package. The program is open to all permanent, full-service SRR employees. Employees who apply and are approved will receive severance of one week’s pay for every full year of eligibility service, up to 26 weeks. In addition, employees may be eligible for medical coverage under the DOE Displaced Workers Medical Benefits Program, if they are not eligible for the retiree or other medical benefits.
The second phase will be done if fewer than 100 employees sign up for the SSP. The ISP would begin laying off workers in December.
Savannah River Remediation has been disposing of and managing liquid waste at the Savannah River Site since 2009 and has three years left on its contract, with an option for two more. The company has about 2,000 employees at the site overall.