EnergySolutions has laid off roughly a quarter of the workforce at its Clive facility as part of companywide layoffs.
The company, which is one of the largest private employers in Tooele County, announced Tuesday afternoon it has laid off 265 workers, including between 70 to 80 employees at the company’s Salt Lake City headquarters and its low-level radioactive disposal site at Clive.
“We had around 200 people working at Clive before the layoffs,” said Mark Walker, EnergySolutions vice president of marketing and media relationships. “The workforce out there now is around 150 to 160.”
The layoffs are part of a corporate strategy to increase profitability and free up resources to pay down debt, Walker said.
“We went through a process of examining our workforce in an effort to make sure that throughout the company the workforce was the right size for the amount of work to be done,” said Walker. “Out at Clive, we found that — in part due to a decrease in material coming to Clive — we just had more people than we had work to do.”
Walker described the cutbacks at Clive as a “rightsizing.”
“Clive remains in full operation with a workforce that matches the current workload,” said Walker.
The layoffs complete EnergySolutions’ restructuring with no more layoffs planned for the foreseeable future, according to Walker.
In August 2012, EnergySolutions reported a drop of $13 million in second-quarter revenue in its logistics, processing, and disposal segment compared to the same quarter in 2011.
In a conference call in August explaining the company’s second-quarter earnings, David Lockwood, EnergySolutions president and CEO, cited the tailing off of government contracts funded by stimulus money as the reason for the decline in revenue. He also said at the time that the company’s contract for cleanup and restoration of the Zion nuclear power site on the shore of Lake Michigan, and future nuclear plant decommissioning contracts, will eventually drive more material to Clive, although it may take two years.
Despite the reduction in the workforce at Clive, Walker maintains that safety for both workers and the public will not be compromised.
“We considered safety when we looked at the workforce and planned the reductions,” said Walker. “There absolutely will be no compromise in safety.”
EnergySolutions officials met with Tooele County commissioners Tuesday to discuss the company’s restructuring plans.
“We have lot of sympathy for the families affected by the layoffs,” said Jerry Hurst, Tooele County commissioner. “It is sad to see anybody let go from their job. However, we understand that EnergySolutions is doing what they need to do to adjust their workforce to the amount of work they have and keep the company successful.”
Hurst said the last couple of checks Tooele County received from EnergySolutions for mitigation fees, which are based on gross receipts at Clive, were down more than 50 percent from last year, indicating a significant decrease in waste received at Clive.
EnergySolutions has 5,000 employees throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company is the fifth largest private employer in Tooele County.