Kennecott meets with union leaders to discuss layoffs

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WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Kennecott Utah Copper is preparing to layoff part of its workforce following the massive slide at their Bingham Canyon Mine, and they met with union representatives Tuesday to work on a plan.

Officials with United Steelworkers said there haven’t been any specific numbers put forth yet, but they said layoffs will be coming.

Kennecott officials announced last week layoffs would come in May. They said the slide will reduce their production at the mine by an estimated 50 percent this year, and that will have a significant financial impact. The company employs about 2,500 people in Utah.

Wayne Holland, United Steelworkers, said they are looking at several options, including moving employees around or offering early retirement incentives.

“What our hope has been from the very beginning is to minimize the effect of the layoff, whatever that number might look like, to the families involved, and to look at ways that both parties can work together to minimize that potential impact,” he said.

Kennecott has already encouraged employees to use vacation time or take unpaid leave from work as a cost cutting measure following the slide.

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